CHAPEL HILL – Patients and visitors now have a smartphone app to help them navigate the UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill as well as UNC Rex Healthcare in Raleigh plus gain access to additional information from health records to urgent care wait times.

The app, which is free, launches Wednesday. Versions for Android and Apple devices are available.

“It’s like Google Maps for inside the hospital,” says Dan Dodson, UNC Health Care director of information technology innovation, noting its turn-by-turn capability.

WakeMed recently rolled out its own mobile app.

The new UNC Health Care app follows by six months the release of an app enabling video visits with doctors. 

Asked about the cost to develop the app, Dodson declined to provide specifics.

“While there is certainly a financial investment in the application, we see this as a commitment to our patients and guests that visit our hospitals or are part of our community,” he said. “Improving patient satisfaction and patient engagement is a major driver in our decision to deploy this application.”

A screen shot of the UNC Health Care app at the Google app store.

In an exclusive Q&A with WRAL TechWire, Dodson talks about the app – why build it, what it does, and what are the benefits.

  • Why create the app?

UNC Health Care wants to provide our patients and guests a convenient mobile application that brings the UNC Health Care experience to their mobile phone – everything from directions to and within our triangle hospitals to easily searching for a provider or other key clinics. This app provides Urgent Care wait times (with the ability to “hold your spot”), access to MyChart, Virtual Urgent Care and more.

UNC Health Care is always looking for ways to better engage with our patients and feel this app provides a great tool for our patients to connect with their health care system.

  • More and more such apps are hitting the market – how does your app differ?

There are a number of “consumer portals” and we have a great mobile app called MyChart that provides easy access for patients to access their medical information and care team.

The UNC Health app not only includes access to MyChart, but also introduces new services like wayfinding to the UNC Medical Center and UNC REX, providing point-to-point directions from home, to the appropriate garage and to the final destination within the hospital – it’s like Google Maps for inside the hospital.

This wayfinding feature isn’t commonly included in other consumer portals. As we continue to expand and evolve we want to make sure our patients can find what they are looking for.

  • Why choose to work with Gozio Health as the developer?

Gozio Health is an innovative start-up focused on the health care industry – their technology and overall platform provided the user experience we wanted to share with our patients. After an extensive search, Gozio Health was found to be the best fit for our needs.

  • How does UNC Health expect to benefit from the app’s availability?

We would like our patients to have a convenient “one-stop shop” mobile experience that provides access to a variety of services that will help our patients and guests when they need us the most – from directions to help them get to their appointment, to finding information on providers and our other services. This mobile app is really a platform for us to continue to evolve and find new ways to support our community.

Other information

Other data available through the app include:

  • physician directories
  • UNC Urgent Care wait times
  • online appointments
  • locations of cafes, restrooms and other destinations in the hospitals
  • mark where patients are parked, and then follow directions back after their appointments
How to get the app

Notes UNC Health: Download the app by searching for “UNC Health” on the Apple App store, or the Google Play store. Or text “UNCAPP” to 43506.

Read more about the app online.

UNC Health Care launches one-click mobile app enabling video visits