Visiting the doctor is often a hassle. Since the days of house calls, patients are forced to find time in their busy schedule, travel down to the physician’s office and wait in a crowded waiting room. Vancouver-based company Medeo.ca might just be the cure to that great inconvenience. The new online platform offers patients the ability to consult with their doctors through most computers and mobile devices.
British Columbians with valid Medical Services Plan coverage can use their computers, smartphones or tablets to speak face to face with their doctors. The secure video conferencing works the same way as a webcam and accessing the website only takes minutes. Once the user signs up with Medeo they will then speak with a coordinator who will assist them with appointment bookings and preparation, as well as connecting them with their current physician if they offer Medeo-based care.
After using Medeo.ca doctors can prescribe medication, refer a specialist and upload care plan information all from the website. New telehealth solutions have proven beneficial to all patients around the world. In 2012 a study done by the Canadian Institute for Health showed that one in three Canadians have problems when getting to a doctor appointment. Putting off a visit to the doctor can lead to dangerous results, but with Medeo.ca patients can have easier follow-up visits, disease management and access to specialists. All the while freeing up some space in the waiting room.
“Medeo.ca is helping British Columbians enjoy improved access to healthcare," said Ryan Wilson, CEO of Medeo Corporation. "We have created a unique made-in-BC app that allows patients to connect with doctors throughout British Columbia through secure, online video conferencing.”
Currently Medeo has over 60 physicians taking part on the website. Medeo.ca might be an online service, but it still functions like any other clinic. Physicians are charged an overhead for using the virtual office space on Medeo. The website itself is not proving the health care; they are merely providing a safe, secure and convenient place for health care.
Doctors seeking improvement in health care accessibility founded Medeo. The online option will have many positive outcomes for the Canadian health care. As more and more people adapt this new way of seeing the doctor, emergency-room wait times will drop significantly as only those who need to be there will be there. While a visit to the emergency room can cost MSP anywhere around $700, an online visit will cost $40 at most. Virtual checkups will also greatly benefit those with chronic diseases who would need to see their doctors more frequently than others.
Security is a vital part of any patient and physician relationship, so Medeo makes certain that all confidential health data, patient records and medical information are safe in what they describe to be a “world class, military-grade, bank-level secure data centres.”
“Our information is housed in the same facility as the BC provincial government,” said Wilson.
Even though Medeo only had its launch on Monday June 3, it is already planning to expand to other provinces in Canada.
For now it doesn’t matter whether you live in rural British Columbia or in downtown Vancouver, convenience and efficiently are things we all appreciate. Although none of us want to see the doctor that often, sooner or later we are bound to get sick. A visit should not have to be a grand spectacle, we shouldn’t have to book days off or cancel plans—visiting the doctor should be as simple as chatting online with a friend.
Image: The Globe and Mail