BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) — Are you looking to price on a medical procedure in your area? There's an app for that. Local plastic surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Kaplan, has created an iPhone app, allowing you to crunch those numbers in minutes, so you can decide if plastic surgery is in your price range.
Dr. Kaplan never expected to create an iPhone app. In fact, he was just looking for a way to save his patients, and his receptionists, time. "Prospective patients were calling the office asking how much different procedures cost, and the person at the front desk doesn't always know all the details."
Kaplan was trying to find a way to get those prices in a place where people could see them, which would help avoid confusion and an unneccessary consultation. In 2009, he got his answer. "I was getting my hair cut, and the idea of putting that in an app just came to me," he says.
Kaplan says he didn't have plans to get involved in a business venture, but he felt his idea was too good to pass up. "This idea just came to me. It just seems to be unique. No one has done it before, and I thought, I need to to run with this, so it was just a leap of faith."
He got in touch with a programmer, and by February of this year, the app was ready to launch. It's called BuildMyBod. The app allows a person to find a plastic surgeon in their area, look up a certain surgical procedure, and get an accurate price quote on that procedure. All of that information is available with the tap of a finger.
"Patients love it because they know ahead of time what they're getting themselves into," says Kaplan. "If it's out of their budget, they don't make a consultation."
Kaplan says the app is the first of it's kind, giving people the chance to to decide if they can afford a procedure before they meet with a doctor. "It saves them time. It saves me time. Everyone is kind of self-selecting whether they're a candidate for plastic surgery," he explains.
Since it's launch, doctors from all over the country have jumped on board, and Kaplan hopes there will be more. It's a benefit to doctors because they have access to the app. They're in control of the prices that the individuals see when they're using the app. The app also helps connect the doctor with those prospective patients.
Now, BuildMyBod is in the process of going global. Kaplan says he's heard from doctors in England, Ireland, Israel, and even Poland. "It's been very humbling, shocking.." he says.
Kaplan says he got in contact with a programmer to actually build the app. The final product was a collaboration with several different people. Click on the link below to hear his advice on getting started.