Although calendars and appointments would be a classic case for digitization, we still make our doctor’s appointments as we did in the 80s. These sites and tools aim to change that.
The idea of booking doctor’s appointments online sounds quite plausible and is not entirely new either. Although the first startups to doctor appointments in Germany were founded in the early 2010s, the standard to this day is still the phone, the waiting loop and “…how would it look for you on Tuesday…”. Yet something now seems to be happening in the market: according to a survey by the health portal Jameda (which itself also offers online bookings), 29 percent of Internet users have already booked an appointment online, especially in the age group between 26 and 46.
But even if you have decided to make an appointment online, the question is: On which site? t3n has compiled the most important ones for you. For the quick test, we looked for an orthopedist and a psychotherapist in Berlin, respectively. Both appointments that you otherwise have to wait a bit for.
Doctena is one of the larger portals for online appointments. In the fall of 2016, Luxembourg-based startup Doctena had announced the acquisition of Doxter, a startup that had been considered the German market leader until then.
Doctena also seems to work quite well for a quick test: You can immediately find about 20 orthopedists in Berlin, even if you can’t book an appointment with all of them. But it’s probably faster to click through the list at Doctena once than to call everyone and ask. Interestingly, there are also more available appointments online for private patients than there are for patients with health insurance.
But even Doctena doesn’t have an easy time with hardship cases: if you’re looking for one of the coveted appointments with a psychotherapist in crazy Berlin, you’ll only find a private practice via Doctena (for which you’d also have to have private insurance or pay directly yourself) and a child and adolescent psychologist.
The Jameda portal is also one of the big ones in Germany. 275,000 physicians, according to the platform, are registered there. If you search for orthopedists in Berlin, you will find several hundred. Jameda focuses more on the evaluation of doctors than Doctena. Filters can be used to sift through thelong list at Jameda by categories such as online booking, private practice and public health insurance.
Jameda also does quite well in the psychologist test search: there are 4,000 therapists in Berlin, even though quite a few of them are alternative practitioners. With the filter Book online 39 hits remain. It’s interesting, though, that I’m immediately shown advertising for the private Betty Ford rehab clinic at the edge of the screen. What is the algorithm trying to tell us?
Arzttermine.de has certainly secured the most unmistakable domain of all providers. In the quick test you can also find several hundred orthopedists in Berlin. However, there are no handy filters like on Jameda, and you have to scroll through the list until you find a suitable online-bookable appointment. For some orthopedists, there is also just a button Request appointments – We will take care of it and call you back. That’s nice of Arzttermine.de, but actually a callback was not the idea of “Arzttermine online”.
Also Psychotherapeuten gives it on Arzttermine.de a quantity. However, even here you would have to request an appointment with many and wait for a response. Interestingly, even with some therapists that you could have put in the shopping cart online on Jameda right away. But at least Arzttermine.de doesn’t display ads for rehab clinics.
The website Doctolib is very popular in France. In Germany, you can also find some doctors and appointments, but less than the competition. The only filters are availability and insurance type. The assortment is large enough to snag an orthopedic appointment on a Saturday in Berlin. In terms of psychology, however, the offer is much more manageable. You can only view the contact details of a number of doctors, and that’s not how the online appointments were intended.
“Are you looking for a dentist in Berlin who has focused his treatment on implantology, specializes in metal-free dentures and speaks Russian?” the portal Arzt-Auskunft advertises full-bodied on the site. Yes, of course, that’s what I’m looking for. So I choose from the menus “dentist, implantology, metal-free dentures, Russian”. And find: nothing. Great, such a nifty search mask. By the way, you can’t book anything online there either, but only “give recommendation”. Next please.
Termed platform impresses with its simple design and immaculate stock photos. It has even won an “IT Innovation Award”. Unfortunately, there are no doctors there. Neither orthopedists, nor general practitioners, nor psychologists. Neither in Berlin, nor in Stuttgart.
Somewhere, the list of working booking portals had to merge into the list of failed medtech startups. And maybe that’s what’s happening right now that we’ve arrived at Betty24. There are little to no doctors, but there are stock photos of a woman probably named Betty24.
In addition to the portals, health insurance companies now also offer doctor’s appointments. However, some of the health insurance companies then simply forward you to the portals. Via the TK doctor ‘s guide of the Techniker-Krankenkasse, for example, one ends up back at the portal Arzttermine.de. The IKK, on the other hand, sends the user on to Doctena. The DAK, on the other hand, you can call, then they call a doctor, and get back to you.