App aims to limit coronavirus exposure in medical waiting rooms

As medical waiting rooms in some countries overflow amid the coronavirus pandemic, ratcheting up the risk of more people being exposed to the deadly pathogen, two physicians have launched a new app called DocClocker, with the hopes of curtailing such vulnerability.

“The waiting-room-management solution has been in research and development for the past three years. Long wait times in doctors’ waiting rooms are an ongoing problem and we set out to create a solution using state-of-the-art software,” Dr. Kevin Makati, a physician and co-CEO and co-founder of DocClocker, told Fox News. “Long wait times translate to congested waiting rooms and more exposure to transmissible disease. The smartphone app offers a potential solution.”

The app, which was created and funded entirely by physicians, essentially requires doctors to subscribe and either use the app or to log in online and report the delays and patients, using a separate smartphone or web-enabled device, can view the waiting times in real-time.

“Patients may also make last-minute appointments both on or off hours with available providers,” Makati explained. “In hospitals, a separate application provides updates from the operating room to the or waiting room. As governments and communities around the globe are doing everything in their power to prevent the spread of coronavirus, it is the obligation of medical providers to do the same for the safety and well-being of their patients.”

The ultimate goal of the app, the founders contend, is to provide transparency in the waiting room and “enhance communication between patients and their medical providers.”

“The DocClocker app easily allows for medical providers to deliver patients with waiting room wait times to create positive patient experiences – allowing patients to pursue other activities in case the office is running behind,” the founders’ said in a statement.

The CDC, however, is urging anyone who suspects they may have coronavirus – either by exhibiting the flu-like symptoms or having crossed paths with a person known to have contracted the disease – phone their healthcare provider ahead of time so appropriate precautions can be taken ahead of their arrival for testing.

DocClocker is publicly available on iOS and Android devices; free for patients and an affordable subscription for doctors. DocClocker has also decided to make available a free trial for providers to help curb the potential exposure to COVID-19, the official name given to the novel virus.

“It is important that people are not sitting in sick waiting rooms during the coronavirus outbreak when there are delays in the office,” added Dr. Eric Carter, co-CEO and co-founder of DocClocker. “(We) are engaged in technology efficiencies that mitigate long wait times. At times like these, patients deserve nothing less.”