It’s easy to see why the idea of an online doctor’s appointment is appealing. It holds the beautiful promise of not having to wait endlessly in a room filled with potentially-infectious patients. And who wants to get out of bed when they’re sick anyway?
But one of the problems with startups trying to bring healthcare online is that their efforts often don’t save any time for the doctor, Ray Costantini, a physician and tech entrepreneur, told Wired. This is because online appointments usually take just as long, if not longer, than in-person ones. The process is actually slower over video chat.
Constantini’s new startup, Bright.md, aims to solve this problem through pre-appointment “smart exams” that can trim down your actual time with the doctor to as little as 90 seconds. Bright.md tells Business Insider that the new system should be able move the average time of an appointment from 20 minutes down to two minutes. And Bright.md just raised $3.5 million to propel it toward that goal.
Here’s how it will work.
Before your appointment, Bright.md’s app will provide you with a dynamic questionnaire, which modifies depending on your answers. This can cut down on the amount of unnecessary questions you have to answer, and give a cleaner picture of your symptoms to the doctor. The app will then use artificial intelligence to give your doctor a “preliminary diagnosis and treatment plan,” Wired reports.
This system is what Constantini believes can radically decrease the amount of time spent in the appointment, but Bright.md wants to save doctors even more time after. Bright.md’s software will automatically generate certain aspects of a doctor’s paperwork, like chart notes or insurance coding.
Constantini’s overarching vision is to strip away all aspects of a doctor’s job that aren’t actually diagnosing and treating patients. He wants to let apps and artificial intelligence take care of the rest.
Bright.md is in various stages of negotiation with over a dozen health care systems, including two of the five largest in the United States. The company has also publicly announced a partnership with Samaritan Health Services, which has 190 primary care providers and five hospitals.