BrandEngagement hosts a thoughtful, thorough edition of the Healthcare Social Media Review, a roundup of blog posts about the use of social media in health care. My post about the value of patient reviews is featured in a section on Patients & Social Media. The other post in that section is by Forbes writer Dan Munro, who writes that ZocDoc is the only health care app to make the list of top mobile apps.
ZocDoc lets patients find doctors and make appointments. It’s kind of like OpenTable, which does the same for restaurants. But interestingly, neither Munro –who focuses on the service for consumers– nor the commenter –who talks about data sales– puts their finger on the key driver of ZocDoc’s business model, which is that physicians are the main customers.
Like OpenTable, ZocDoc is a lead generation tool that providers (whether restaurants or doctors or dentists) will pay for in order to get customers in the door. But ZocDoc’s value proposition goes a bit further, which is that it also enables providers to enrich their mix by picking up more desirable commercial patients and even those from specific high-reimbursing health plans.
So ZocDoc is more like an OpenTable that lets restaurant owners bring in more high-tipping, beautiful people and screening out those who are less desirable and less profitable.
ZocDoc does have some potential utility for consumers but I hope next year’s list of apps will include something where the consumer is the app’s true target customer.
By David E. Williams of the Health Business Group.September 25, 2013