Innovation

Feeling sick and need a doctor? There's an emoji for that

File photo: A customer views the new iPhone 7 smartphone inside an Apple Inc. store in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 16, 2016. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

File photo: A customer views the new iPhone 7 smartphone inside an Apple Inc. store in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 16, 2016. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

If you don't feel well and need to see a doctor, there's no need to search for the type of doctor anymore -- just use an emoji.

Zocdoc, an online service which lets users find and schedule appointments with doctors, updated its search function, calling it "patient-powered search," letting them find specific types of doctors using emoji.

"With Patient-Powered Search, each person can use his or her own language – from “gyno” to “hurt wrist” to “post-election stress disorder”– to confidently find the right provider for their needs," the company wrote in a blog post. "We’ve even peppered in some fun emoji searches, like 🐱🤧 for allergies, ❤️🔥 for heartburn, and ✈️💊 for travel medicine."

The company hopes that by letting users type in a colloquial maner, it can make it easier for users to find what they need.

New York-based Zocdoc, which has so far raised $223 million from investors, is using technologies such as machine learning algorithms and string-matching technology to better handle its customers needs. 

"We leveraged the insights we’ve gathered from millions of users over ten years to build Patient-Powered Search, and new searches will help us continue to improve," the company added. "On top of that, we regularly work with medical experts and our data science team ... and because we can understand which search behaviors ultimately lead to completed appointments and positive reviews, we will continually learn and evolve based on the entire patient journey."