New no-fee national telehealth company launched

By Rosie Lombardi

Liz BryantA new telehealth service has set up shop in Canada. GOeVisit was launched by Calgary-based MyCare MedTech Inc. in November 2016 and offers a no fee to enroll or use service for both individuals and corporations. The service connects people who have a non-emergency condition with medical professionals via phone, Skype and FaceTime. Required prescriptions can be sent to the client’s pharmacy of choice, or delivered next business day anywhere in Canada, through GOeVisit’s pharmacy partner.

“We do not replace a family doctor, and offer virtual consults for episodic, non-emergency conditions. Established virtual practice guidelines (VPGs) are used to diagnose and treat coughs, cold, flu, pharyngitis, rashes, sinusitis, pink eye, and many other conditions,” says chief operating officer Liz Bryant (pictured).

The company spent three years conducting research and setting up partnerships in preparation for its recent launch, says Bryant. “There are over 40 medical conditions that can be diagnosed very safely in a virtual manner. To develop our VPGs, we partnered with CarenaMD, a US company that provides virtual consults to major companies like Microsoft, Boeing, and Costco, and to US universities and hospitals. Carena has 17 years experience and a reach of over 5 million telehealth users.”

Clients can make a request for a consultation either by phoning or by going online and are greeted by a patient concierge who screens the request, she says.

“Once our patient concierge is sure that it is not an emergency situation and one that can be treated with a virtual consult, the client is placed in a virtual wait room, and gets picked up by a medical provider for a consult from there, in the manner they’ve requested: phone, Skype or FaceTime.”

The client gets a complete summary of the consultation at the end of the virtual visit, and a copy can be sent to their primary care provider at their request.

“We can have prescriptions delivered to a client’s home, office or hotel room the next business day. This is a great service for Canadians who are travelling or those living in rural or remote communities where people are sometimes a two-hour drive away from the nearest pharmacy or the drug stores don’t have extended hours of operation.”

Unlike other telehealth services, GOeVisit’s medical professionals educate clients about home and alternative remedies that work well to alleviate symptoms and give relief. “We’re very sensitive to the issue of over-prescription of medication, especially antibiotics. We prescribe medications in about 37 percent of our calls, compared with the traditional 70 percent which is industry standard.”

The company has about 30 medical professionals on staff, and expects those numbers to increase substantially as the business grows. “We plan to expand our service centers in Canada. We have a virtual medical clinic in Vancouver, and plan to have one in Ontario by the end of the year.”

Bryant believes there are major prospects for business growth in the telehealth sphere. “Virtual care is exploding. A 2014 Price Waterhouse study very clearly indicated that over 75 percent of Canadians would be willing to see a medical professional virtually. In the US, over 90 percent of larger companies plan to offer virtual care to their employees and their families because it’s a major cost saving opportunity. It reduces prescription frequency and can reduce absenteeism up to 50 percent.”

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