Practice Fusion Launches Innovative Online Tool
One of the biggest names in the growing world of healthcare technology is launching new online offerings for medical professionals. Today, San Francisco based Practice Fusion, which currently offers doctors free electronic medical records software, announced that it plans to launch a new site for booking doctor’s appointments.
Practice Fusion has attracted more than 150,000 doctors with its free web-based service for managing patient information, medical billing and other aspects of practice management, since its inception in 2007. However the health tech start-up is now opening up its information to the public for the first time, enabling patients across the US to search for doctors by specialty and location, read reviews from verified patients and instantly book appointments.
“This is a place where, as an individual patient, your health starts and ends,” said Practice Fusion Founder and CEO Ryan Howard.
The company said Patient Fusion lists information for more than 27,000 verified doctors in the US, includes 1.5 million verified doctor reviews (an average of 14 per doctor) and has 3 million open appointment slots available for April alone. While other doctor review sites like Vitals.com and Healthgrades, as well as Yelp, enable anyone — even those who have never seen the doctor — to leave reviews, Patient Fusion only allows patients it knows have visited the doctor to review their experience. ZocDoc similarly provides verified patient reviews.
Another benefit for patients who pick Patient Fusion is they’ll be able to get instant access to their personal health records. Patients using Patient Fusion will not only be able to book appoints online, but access digital lab reports, view real-time updates to their records and potentially benefit from other kinds of digital communication.
Furthermore, Patient Fusion is free to patients and doctors. It eventually plans to serve advertising (as it does on Practice Fusion) but its bigger play is aggregating even more data about patient conditions, medication, treatment outcomes and more. That data (de-identified and in aggregate) gives it an interesting view of health trends and could be valuable to pharmaceutical companies and other health care players.
According to a survey of health entrepreneurs conducted last November, Practice Fusion, which has raised $70 million in venture capital, was considered one of the health tech companies likely to file for an IPO next.
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