ONMD plans to transform telehealth services in Ontario
August 31, 2020
TORONTO – Telesense Canada, a company that is both a developer of telemedicine technology and a provider of digital care services in Ontario, is launching the Ontario Medical Network (ONMD.ca). The new organization and platform will allow patients to connect with doctors online, at their homes and offices, and in the near future at pharmacies and labs, where they can receive prescriptions and have lab work done more quickly.
As well, an ambulatory care service– using EMS ambulance outfitted with the latest medical equipment, operated by nurses – is in the works that can bring services to the point-of-care, connecting patients with physicians through virtual visits.
“When you go to your GP as a patient, you usually walk away with three things,” said Michael Haddad, president and founder of the Ontario Medical Network. “You’ll get a lab requisition, a prescription, and possibly a referral to a specialist.”
ONMD is in the process of establishing partnerships with major labs and pharmacies, so that patients can go to their local medical lab or pharmacy, see an online doctor on the premises, and either get their lab work or prescription done right on the spot.
Moreover, these sites will be equipped with medical workstations containing state-of-the-art instruments that allow remote physicians to conduct comprehensive exams.
The ONMD workstation includes video and medical cameras, ECG, pulse-oximeters, non-invasive blood pressure instruments, an electronic stethoscope, a glucometer, and more.
A trained nurse will be at the site to facilitate the visit, handling the medical instruments and acting as the hands of the online physician. The live video, of course, gives doctors a better understanding of the patient, and the instruments in the ONMD platform – at walk-in sites – will allow them to perform extensive exams.
“We’re establishing a new standard and completing cycle of virtual care,” said Haddad.
Similarly, the mobile clinic – an ambulance outfitted with extensive medical equipment – will also benefit from the services of a nurse.
The ambulance will be able to visit patients who have trouble getting out and about, including housebound patients who are frail or elderly, and patients in retirement residences and nursing homes in need of care.
In the future, there are plans to include a portable X-ray service in the mobile van, as well as a “pharmacy on wheels.”
Physicians are now being recruited; Haddad said they can bring their own patients into the network and the ONMD will also refer patients to them.
Recognizing that Canada is now a highly multicultural place, the Ontario Medical Network is offering video interpreters for patients who may have trouble conversing in English.
“We’re able to quickly connect to interpreters speaking Korean, Mandarin, Persian, all the high-demand languages spoken now in Ontario,” said Haddad.
Even sign-language is available, using the videoconferencing that’s part of the Ontario Medical Network system, as this will ensure hearing impaired patients are not left out of the digital healthcare revolution.
“We’re introducing multi-party video,” said Haddad, noting that the platform will support conversations among patient, doctor, family member or interpreter at the same time. “Most video visit systems out there now are one-to-one. With us, you get a more advanced system. We can bridge to interpreters and physicians to improve the online experience.”