Why Canadians are Going Online for their Health Care
It’s 3 a.m. and you’re up caring for a child who has a headache and a high fever. You want medical advice, but your family doctor is unavailable. The after-hours medical clinic is closed, and your hospital’s emergency room is a half-hour drive away. Who do you turn to for help?
The answer could be a simple click or call away. Virtual health care — the modern, online version of house calls — offers immediate medical care for you and your family, where and when you need it.
Using your laptop, tablet or mobile phone, you can connect with a licensed physician in minutes to get a diagnosis, a prescription, a referral to a specialist and more — similar to how you would stream a movie, download music or e-transfer a payment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need and value of being able to access care from the safety and comfort of our homes. Since the coronavirus outbreak, booking checkups and tests has not been easy and poses extra safety risks for those with pre-existing conditions. Besides, no one likes to make a trip to the clinic or spend time in an ER, especially immunocompromised patients, during a global health pandemic.
A national poll taken by the Canadian Medical Association found that Canadians are embracing virtual care options in growing number and would not only like to see them continued after COVID-19 crisis subsides but improved and expanded in the future. In other words, at-home virtual health care could become our “new normal.”
There are plenty of good reasons to hope that it’s here to stay. Virtual care offers easy, fast access to expert care 24/7, 365 days a year, allowing us to skip the wait lines and get medical attention for a variety of physical and mental health issues. In fact, a study by a leading health researcher found that 70% of ER and walk-in clinic visits could be replaced by virtual or phone consults without any impact on our quality of care.
Through Online Doctors, for example, you can speak directly with a licensed Canadian physician by phone, video or text in minutes. Like an in-person doctor, Online Doctors accurately diagnose and address the majority of common illnesses and medical issues — from bites and stings, sprains and strains to headaches and high fevers. No pre-assessment from a nurse or other health professional stands between you and the doctor.
Online Doctors is included in the suite of services we offer through our digital health platform, Connected Care. Exclusive to Medavie Blue Cross members and their families, Connected Care draws on the latest technologies and innovations to offer premium access to the best, most immediate care possible — and at preferred pricing.
“Great experience and great service during COVID.” Plan Member
In addition to Online Doctors, Connected Care offers Digital Therapy (internet-enabled Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and Personalized Medicine (pharmacogenetic testing).
Digital Therapy allows you to connect with an accredited therapist for counselling and education services from the privacy and security of your home, removing barriers that prevent 60% of Canadians from seeking professional help for their mental health concerns. This easy-to-access, virtual form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps build life-enhancing skills to manage thoughts and feelings and is proven clinically effective in treating mild to moderate stress and anxiety.
“My therapy got me back to being whole and looking at life in a positive way.” Plan Member
Personalized Medicine can ensure the medications you take are the safest and most effective for your condition, with the least likelihood of side effects, based on your DNA or genetic profile. Our DNA is made up of thousands of genes that determine not only the characteristics that are specific to us – our eye and hair colour, for example — but how we metabolize or process drugs. That’s why drugs have different effects on different people.
By taking a small sample of our saliva to analyse our DNA, this pharmacogenetic testing service can pinpoint the drugs and dosage that may be the best match for you. The results are applicable for more than 200 drugs on the market that treat conditions from mental health to oncology to cardiovascular disease.
“The site is really well made for users. Simple, fast and efficient.” Plan Member
Want to learn more about our member-exclusive health offerings? * Interested to see if one of these services is right for you and your family?
Discover why more and more Canadians are opting for at-home virtual healthcare.
*Check to make sure these are available through your health benefit plan.