Among the many perks of the Metadata Era, we all can expect to hear odd or unexpected statistics derived from private information we never even knew we had provided. For instance, the NY Daily News reports that ZocDoc, the doctor appointment scheduling website, has discovered that Tuesday is the most popular day to book an appointment, while 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. tie as the most popular times.
According to NY Daily News, ZocDoc sorted and crunched ‘anonymous’ data gathered from its 2.5 million monthly users for a single year July 2012 to July 2013 in order to understand appointment booking trends. Calling up the day/time appointment searches, the site found that Friday at 10 a.m. was the most common request, followed by Monday at 2 p.m. Generally, though, Tuesday was found to be the most popular day overall to visit a doctor. Among specialists, Monday was the busiest day for pediatricians, Wednesdays for dietitians, Friday for acupuncturists, and both Monday and Friday for chiropractors.
ZocDoc is a specialized search engine where patients can find doctors and dentists and view their available appointment times. Then, a patient can schedule his or her appointment online or via mobile app. The company’s most recent product allows patients to fill out their paperwork online before their appointment. “More than 2.5 million people use ZocDoc each month across 1,800+ cities, covering 40 percent of the US population,” the website states.
Further, the company’s website notes that it encrypts data “to the same standards that banks use to safeguard your financial information.” That said, the company continues to analyze the data it collects to better understand who uses the site and how to improve its service. ZocDoc even goes so far as to suggest it may also use the data it collects to study disease patterns or contribute to public health programs.
In a press release, the company notes that appointments booked via its service have increased more than 200 percent year over year. Many people (or maybe just me) would have no beef with a company that allows a person to book an appointment and provide medical information online as long as it is by choice. The problem here is that some doctors may not permit a patient to book an appointment in any other way. That’s by no means ZocDoc’s fault when such a thing happens — kudos to them for providing such an attractive and convenient service! But it is a pressing issue for those who don’t want to be forced into ‘sharing’ even the smallest, silliest detail of their personal or medical history online… including the time of day they prefer to visit a doctor.