The news: Google pulled the curtain back on a new Search feature that lets Google users find and book available appointments with nearby healthcare providers. The tech giant says it's still in the early stages of rolling out the feature, but it's already secured its first partner, MinuteClinic at CVS, per a Google blog post.
How we got here: Google is focusing on what it knows best following a reshuffle of its Health organization: Search.
For example, last December, the tech giant unveiled a new Google Search feature that makes it easier for patients to find doctors that accept Medicare.
The opportunity: Google is tapping into the rising number of US adults turning to online search directories like Yelp to find new providers.
But can it catch up to the likes of Zocdoc? Appointment scheduler Zocdoc has a competitive advantage since it already has a large pool of private practice doctors enabling booking through its platform.
What’s next? We suspect Google will turn to retail clinic partners like Walgreens and Walmart next, since these players already offer convenient virtual booking options and appointment times on their websites—and don’t currently partner with an appointment scheduler like Zocdoc.