Clinicians launch Canada’s first virtual care service for kids
February 28, 2022
Canada’s first digital pediatric healthcare platform, KixCare (www.kixcare.com), is working towards providing families across the country with online pediatric care from experts through virtual consultations.
To address rising issues in the accessibility of specialized healthcare services in Canada, KixCare was founded by a group of pediatricians and family doctors that saw an opportunity to better serve children and teens. Digital healthcare has seen rapid 25 percent year-over-year growth in Canada and the US, led by strong performance of virtual healthcare that was accelerated by shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, utilization of virtual care reached levels 38 times higher than pre-pandemic with nearly one in five medical visits now being conducted online (McKinsey). With its mass adoption, virtual care has gained favor among patients and providers – exceeding 90 percent ratings in accessibility and preferred to in-person visits for a majority of patients, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
However, few virtual care solutions have emerged to meet the needs of unique issues facing healthcare for children and teens. Access to expert healthcare services can be a challenge – only 30 to 40 percent of primary care visits were seen by a pediatrician pre-pandemic. As a result, many parents default to the emergency department, including Toronto’s SickKids ED, which saw wait times up to 10 hours long in 2021 exacerbated by rules around physical distancing.
KixCare was designed to connect parents in need of care for their little ones to vetted expert pediatricians and kid-focused family doctors with visits that are 100 percent free with provincial insurance and available same-day seven-days per week.
The need could not be more apparent. Since launching in August 2021, KixCare physicians have conducted over 4,000 virtual visits – and families love it according to nearly 100 perfect ratings on Facebook and Google. KixCare first launched in Ontario, expanded to serve families in Quebec in November, and is eager to continue expanding to increase access to pediatric healthcare across Canada.
While comprehensive solutions have expanded access to virtual care across Canada, few have focused so holistically on servicing the needs of a specific patient population. Compared to competing platforms where parents cannot be sure they will speak to a kid’s health expert or are faced with up to one week wait times to speak to a specialist, KixCare delivers on fast direct access to expert Pediatricians and kids-focused GPs without the need for a referral.
Kids are not small adults, and they and their caregivers deserve a digital offering that has them at top of mind, always.
Beyond hosting a group of nearly 40 pediatrics-focused healthcare providers, KixCare’s platform is designed to serve the needs of kids. Doctors are equipped with growth charts and tools for calculating prescription dosages by age.
Patient care coordinators provide live support for all visits and handle full navigation for referrals, follow-ups, lab requisitions, prescriptions, and more, so that parents finish every visit with the answers they need about their kid’s health. The technology is designed to be as seamless as possible – booking a visit and seeing a doctor could not be easier.
In addition to virtual primary and urgent care, KixCare is proud to host nearly a dozen pediatric allied health providers – professionals that can address issues surrounding mental health, sleep, lactation, language, concussion, and diet concerns, available without referral and at fair cost that is covered by many private healthcare plans.
More than half of Canadian parents have expressed frustration accessing mental health services in Canada – citing long wait times and uncertainty navigating services. KixCare is designed to reduce these barriers by providing specialized services, all in one place.
While telemedicine in Canada gained rapid adoption upon the opening of virtual care billing codes in March 2020, companies like KixCare are betting big that it will be here to stay.
When one looks at how people will go back to office work, it will likely be a hybrid model – home and office. The same will apply to the field of telemedicine. Indeed, KixCare’s focus will be growing their provider base with physicians who want to supplement in-clinic practice with a flexible work-when-you-want-to virtual care model. They are also focused on ensuring that families can successfully navigate their children’s healthcare journey.
Dr. Harley Eisman is the Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder of KixCare.