A new app developed at NUI Galway allows users to book appointments 24 hours a day. The free app will be officially launched on Wednesday, 11 September, by Helplink, a new Irish social enterprise.
The app means dentist, doctor, beauty salon, physio, hairdressing, and chiropractor appointments can be booked 24 hours a day, seven days a week and in real time. There is also an option to avail of cancelled appointments by viewing appointments in real time and health/wellbeing providers can fill appointments that they may have lost before.
Lochlann Scott, Managing Director of Helplink and Psychology graduate from NUI Galway, said: “We all have been in those situations where, for example, it always seems to be out of hours when you need to book an appointment, or you are constantly trying to get through at nine in the morning to an engaged tone or answering machine or wasting time and money ringing around to find a free appointment. Also this service will help free up A&Es because people can find those real time appointments for minor injuries, etc.”
Not only does the Helplink’s Directory and Appointment Booking service allow local and out-of-town clients find appointments fast and easily, it also has over 2,500 listings of public and private health and wellbeing services from across the nation. Some of the categories include: hospitals, opticians, home care services, chemists, late night services, yoga centres and many more.
The easy to use booking app for iPhones and Androids has been created by Sean Coleman of NUI Galway’s Discipline of Information Technology, under the direction of Dr Owen Molloy. “Financial support was provided by the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher scheme, which provides a very simple and cost-effective way for local industry to engage with our R&D capability”, says Dr Molloy. Helplink’s simple, easy to use website has been created with the support of Eircom.
Lochlann, a research psychologist, lecturer and social care worker with the HSE, said: “The reason behind creating Helplink was to use technology to reduce the cost of providing health and support services and also to make these services and health information accessible to everyone in Ireland no matter where they are. Our directory is our first completely free service to the public and this new appointment booking system was a logical next move to my mind.”
The Helplink directory is free to use, free to download and use, and details of your chosen listing will be sent to the user’s phone by text for free. The app can be downloaded from the App Store, iTunes and the Google Play Store by searching ‘helplink’.