HTH Worldwide Awarded Patent for Appointment Scheduling System Sees Commercial Applications Addressing Looming U.S. Doctor Shortage
RADNOR, Pa., Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- HTH Worldwide, a global technology-based health services and information company, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to HTH for its system of arranging appointments with medical providers via desktop and mobile devices all around the world. This system patent complements a previous method patent, and reinforces HTH's position as the leader in online and mobile medical assistance services.
HTH's patents cover a process for broadcasting requests for doctor appointments to maximize a patient's opportunity to see busy physicians on short notice. HTH already deploys the broadcast process as a feature of its mPassport® iPhone applications covering many destinations outside the U.S. HTH has contracted with over 6,300 physicians in 185 countries.
Now HTH is implementing plans to commercialize the patented process in partnership with select health plans and healthcare provider groups inside the U.S. "We see an unmet and growing need for Internet and mobile applications that empower consumers to rapidly initiate relationships with doctors who are in high demand or short supply," said Angelo Masciantonio, Chief Executive Officer of HTH Worldwide. "Unlike some appointment scheduling platforms built to advertise the availability of participating doctors, HTH's system puts the patient's needs first, creating an efficient way to fill appointment calendars, potentially expanding the capacity of all physician practices."
The HTH system is highly efficient and effective, combining electronic media with real-time monitoring to optimize the match between patient and doctor. When widely adopted, this process will make a key contribution to managing burgeoning U.S. consumer demand for physician services, driven by an aging population, physician retirement and the extension of health insurance benefits in 2014 to over 30 million Americans under the Affordable Care Act. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates a nationwide shortfall of at least 40,000 physicians by 2015 and more than double that number by 2020.
The HTH process has also been patented in Australia and thirteen countries in the European Union: Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.
About HTH Worldwide
HTH Worldwide is a leader in creating access to quality healthcare services all around the globe. HTH combines ongoing research, a contracted global community of physicians and hospitals and advanced Internet and mobile applications to ensure its customers' health, safety and peace of mind. For more information, visit www.hthworldwide.com.
Contact: Moira Bishop
SOURCE HTH Worldwide