Tech Startup Aims to Take the Hassle Out of Health Care


Forget about the annoyance of waiting on hold when trying to book a doctor’s appointment, only to find out that no slots are available for two months. We do pretty much everything online, so why not book doctors’ appointments online as well?

That’s the goal of startup ZocDoc, a free service which allows people to search for doctors based on location, specialty, insurance and reviews, and book them online.

ZocDoc now connects doctors, dentists and patients in 20 cities. More than 1.5 million people have booked appointments for free. (Read More: The Year of the Health Tech Startup.)

CEO Cyrus Massoumi said he’s fixing the fundamental inefficiency of scheduling — citing the statistic that it takes people an average of 20 days after they’ve booked an appointment to see a doctor.

Doctors pay a subscription fee — about $300 per doctor per month. But Massoumi said it’s a win-win because it helps draw new patients and also helps them fill the 10 to 20 percent of appointments that are cancelled at the last minute. (Read More: Building a Great Startup Culture.)

The company has the support of some of tech’s biggest names. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and CEO Marc Benioff are both investors. The company has raised nearly $100 million dollars. With that funding Massoumi says he plans to be across the country in the next 12 months.

“We’re thinking very big. Healthcare is a $6 trillion industry,” Massoumi said. “We sit between the patient and the doctor and there’s so much room to innovate.”

-By CNBC's Julia Boorstin