Inside Next-Gen Doctor’s Offices
Sleek, speedy, and millennial-friendly.
Going to the doctor doesn’t have to be all about drab, beige walls and interminable fluorescent lighting. These days, there’s a startup solution for everything, and that includes the medical industry.
It used to be that we had no other options: Even the nicest doctor’s office had a waiting room, and even the fanciest dentist’s office used disgusting toothpaste. But no more: Millennials and their startup funds have said enough, and next-gen doctor’s offices are full of nice lighting, good design, and even, in some cases, VR.
Read on to learn about some of the latest doctor’s offices and what they’re doing to set themselves apart from the pack. Anyone else making an appointment at all of these places, stat?
Raise your hand if you like going to the dentist. No one? Yeah, we’re not surprised. But new dental startups are catering to millennial (and millennial-adjacent) folks who really hate the dentist, but really like things to be bright and shiny. For example, Tend’s website features the moody colors of any tech startup and greets you with a catchy video loop of people doing dental stuff: a man popping a bubblegum bubble, a woman biting into an ice cream cone (ouch), a lot of people running their tongues along their upper teeth. “Look forward to going to the dentist,” they suggest.
To be fair, it all sounds pretty good: You kick off your appointment by brushing your teeth with a new Quip toothbrush and toothpaste from RiseWell, Hello, or Marvis. In good lighting. People apparently take selfies, according to Fast Company. The dental instruments are not air driven, but electric, which means they don’t make that horrible noise and give off very little vibration. Honestly, sounds like a dream.
You know how all doctor’s offices have waiting rooms? Well, Forward doesn’t like to call their “front of house” a waiting room, because patients don’t have to wait for their appointments. That’s right. We’ll say that again, just so it sinks in: Patients don’t have to wait. Instead, members check themselves in on tablets when they arrive and then head to a 3-D body scanner that uses various technologies—infrared, bioelectrical impedance, structured light—to take measurements, as CNET reports.
Next up: an entire hour with your doctor to go over all the measurements and anything else that needs to be discussed, which means you can chat about nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, and other things that often fall by the wayside at your local doctor’s office. And—wait for it—there’s also a big touchscreen in the room while you meet with your doctor that captures info from your discussion and converts it into text, which means your doctor can actually make eye contact instead of looking at their pad or laptop the whole time. It all sounds amazing, and we hope the medical industry takes a page from their playbook and follows suit someday.
If you want to get Botox, PRP treatments, and the like, you generally head to the dermatologist. These procedures are usually done in a sterile, clinical environment. But Ever/Body aims to change all that. “In an industry that can be overwhelming and often overrun with misinformation, false promises, and asterisks, we founded Ever/Body to help you understand what’s what,” their website says.
When they opened earlier this year, we popped in for a Clear + Brilliant laser facial, and we have to say: They deliver on the promise. Like Tend, Ever/Body boasts soothing smells and sounds upon arrival, with muted colors on the walls and soft light in the room where you meet your technician. The procedures are generally more affordable than they would be at the celebrity derm’s office, but they’re also safe: This is no storefront Botox center. The nurse practitioner we saw (who had insanely glowy skin) answered approximately a million questions before we let her put a laser on our skin, and we emerged fresh, and a little triumphant, feeling like we gamed the system by skipping the dermatologist’s office.
Who says a visit to the dentist can’t be an experience? (And when we say “experience,” we mean a positive one—we’ve all had our share of negative experiences at the dentist.) At Dr. Olson’s office in Newport Beach, California, you can kick back, relax, and strap on a VR headset to tune out all the unpleasantness happening within your mouth.
If VR isn’t enough to do the trick, Dr. Olson’s office also offers sedation to the truly anxious dental-goer, but that doesn’t work for everyone. “It’s no secret that everyone complains about going to the dentist,” Dr. Olson told the LA Times. “This [virtual reality device] is a way to distract people and use the power of [the] mind instead of pharmaceuticals.” No one can argue with that.
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