Health IT

There’s a startup for that! New technologies address patients’ biggest medical gripes

womens health appointment

Consumer Reports asked 1,000 people what bugs them most about going to the doctor, and the top responses might surprise you.

The obvious gripes, like long waits to see the doctors and lots of paperwork, didn’t top the list. Rather, the most bothersome thing to these consumers was unclear explanations from their doctors.

Consumer reports patient gripes


Fortunately for doctors and patients, the startup community seems to have a pretty good read on patients’ gripes. Here are a few companies that are developing or marketing technology that could knock the top complaints down the ranks next year.

Unclear or incomplete explanations of a problem. drawMD and Uprise Medical are leveraging tablets to give physicians a way to create detailed visuals that would help them explain complex issues to patients. Similarly, Orca Health uses animation to help patients learn. And when patients get home, Clear.MD hopes to help them find helpful video content from local providers.

Test results not delivered fast enough. Online lab results reporting is done by companies like TeleVox, but others take that a step further. Medivo and Luminate Health, for example, have built solutions for physicians to use to help their patients access, manage and understand lab results.

Billing disputes hard to resolve. Simplee gives consumers a place to store, manage and pay their healthcare bills, and also has an error detection system that scans records for the most common billing errors. CoPatient does a similar thing but provides it as a service and offers to analyze billing and insurance paperwork.

Hard to get a quick appointment. To manage appointments on the physician’s side, practices will eventually be able to use systems like DocMeIn and SchedFull. On the patient’s side, companies like AppointmentCity and ZocDoc let them book appointments online, and Health In Reach and PokitDok offer deals on appointments paid with cash. CareWire uses texts to make sure patients are prepared for their medical encounters on time.

[Chart from Consumer Reports]

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