A new health care tech startup, MyDentalTime, wants to help dental practices and patients manage the setting of appointments.

Dr. Amit Patel, a dentist in group practice in Gahanna, says after helping his own group, Stoneridge Dental Care, grow, he wanted to create a business while staying in his dental practice.

“I also felt a need in my office to not only free up some of my team from the phone calls coming in but also a way for our existing and new patients to find us, book appointments, make getting an appointment a lot easier than it’s traditionally done, which is calling a dental office,” Patel says. Patel did some research, teamed up with Columbus software firm Big Kitty Labs, and MyDentalTime was born.

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While many larger medical practices, especially those connected with large health systems, have their own scheduling platforms, Patel says dental offices are different.

More than half are still solo practitioners, according to the American Dental Association, and Patel says many are only beginning to catch up with the new technology out there because of the costs associated.

“It’s been a bit of a barrier for dentistry in general,” Patel says. “Still probably 20 percent to 30 percent of practices are using paper charts. And even those who have invested in tech, probably another half are just using it for the very basics like bookkeeping and basic scheduling.”

Patel says the more affordable costs of software as a service means he’s able to aim for an unfilled niche.

Current scheduling software submits appointment requests to the practice’s office, Patel says. Office personnel then must follow up and actually complete the appointment booking. MyDentalTime schedules the appointment directly in the practice’s management software with no additional man hours required.

Patel says the other differentiator is that MyDentalTime starts with the patient’s schedule as the primary focus. Patients can seek out the best time for their own schedules. MyDentalTime also can take payments.

The company launched at the beginning of August. Patel is determined to bootstrap his way through initial development and has paid for the project himself despite interest from angel investors.

“Early on, I felt that’s not for me,” he says. “I don’t want to take $50,000 to have someone over my shoulder. It’s not that I don’t want advice—I seek it all the time. But I definitely feel once you take capital, you are answering to someone, like it or not. And at this stage, I’m not ready for that. Who knows, that may change in the future.”