Quartz continues its series profiling companies around the world experiencing explosive growth.
A few weeks ago, self-diagnosed hypochondriac Cyrus Massoumi tripped and fell, gashing his arm in two places. He got on his phone, pulled out an app and searched for “emergency medicine physicians.” A few swipes to book an appointment and eight stitches later, he was back at work.
Masoumi is not just an average patient. He is the founder of ZocDoc, which launched six years ago to get patients in front of doctors faster and maximize efficiency in health care. The platform and its app let him bypass the normal system of referrals and its resulting waiting time. And like many of ZocDoc’s users, during an emergency Massoumi didn’t log onto a computer; he reached for his phone. Today, Masoumi notes that while the majority of ZocDoc users book preventative care on the website, when it comes to urgent care, they tend to reach for their phone and the app. And so, what started out as a scheduling platform has become a way for patients to take control over their care.
How it works: Anyone looking for a family physician, podiatrist, or other doctors and specialists can go onto the ZocDoc site or app, select a specialty, their neighborhood, and the reason for visit from a dropdown menu. Within seconds, Zoc Doc pinpoints doctors who fit the bill, along with location and availability.
No longer bound to their family physician’s address book, patients can can fish in a larger pool of specialists and gain quicker access. Before he got stitches, Massoumi didn’t have to wait for a referral or wait on uncomfortable chairs for for an ER doctor. He made an appointment, was treated, took a few iPhone photos of the handiwork to send to his dad (a doctor), and resumed activity.
Zoc Doc now has 4 million monthly users. It’s seen a 200% growth in appointments year over year, employs almost 500 people and has raised $95 million in funding. After spending the first three years of its life establishing itself in the New York market, ZocDoc is now available in 1,900 cities across the US.