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VIRTUAL HEALTHCARE CANADA:
THE SOLUTION AT OUR FINGERTIPS

telemedicine is here

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THE BRINK OF CHANGE:
CANADIAN HEALTHCARE ENTERS 2020

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LATE ADOPTION OF VIRTUAL CARE

In 2018, 62% of Canadians found quality of virtual healthcare to be no different from that of office visits. In contrast, Canadian adoption of virtual solutions for healthcare delivery lagged significantly behind its Commonwealth (CMWF) counterparts.

Despite efforts to drive the adoption of digital health solutions, such as ongoing programs and initiatives launched by Canada Health Infoway, Canadian adoption of virtual healthcare remained comparatively low.

 

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A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH VIRTUAL HEALTHCARE

By late 2019 it was clear that an explosion of interest in pursuing digital health strategies had begun in Canada. It’s now clear that 2020 was the true turning point.

The early months of 2020 brought a period of significant social, cultural and economic change as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world. Seemingly overnight, Canadians were forced to adapt to a new and unsettling reliance on technology for work, social gatherings, education, healthcare and more.

Within a matter of weeks, the new realities of a pandemic culture had turned Canadian healthcare access and delivery on its head:

  • 60% of visits became virtual rather than in-person by the end of April (up from 20%)
  • 240% growth in virtual healthcare
  • 114% growth in virtual mental health (new users over existing users)
  • 81% satisfaction among patients was reported when asked about the modality of their virtual visit.
Virtual Care Industry Report

DOWNLOAD THE SEPTEMBER 2020 UPDATE OF OUR INDUSTRY REPORT

Looking for more? Download the updated version of our industry report to gain access to the latest trends of virtual healthcare in Canada.

 

 

DOWNLOAD THE 2020 UPDATED VIRTUAL CARE INDUSTRY REPORT

HEALTHCARE DOESN’T TEND TO MOVE AT THE PACE OF OTHER INDUSTRIES, BUT THESE CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE ADVANCED THINGS BY 10 YEARS IN 30 DAYS.

Dan Pawliw, Founder, Akira by TELUS Health

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Virtual Healthcare Key Challenges

As virtual healthcare grows in popularity, so too do the challenges that it poses for both patients and providers. According to Dr. Dominik Nowak, Chair and Physician Lead, TELUS Health Medical Advisory Council, some key challenges resulting from increased reliance on virtual means of healthcare delivery include:

  1. Digital literacy
  2. Continuity of care
  3. Prioritization of physical visits

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THE NEXT FRONTIER, VIRTUAL MENTAL HEALTH

The mental Health impact of COVID-19

Slightly more than half of Canadians have reported negative impacts to their mental health since the outbreak of this global pandemic.

A recent survey found that although only 5% of those surveyed reported high-to-extreme levels of anxiety prior to the pandemic, that number increased to 20% after the outbreak.

Leading causes for COVID-related mental health issues include:

  • Social isolation
  • Concern for loved ones
  • Fear of contracting COVID-19
  • Financial concerns

Employers have a responsibility to care for the health and well-being of their employees. The first step in providing mental health support is acknowledging and understanding that mental health is a serious medical concern and creating a stigma-free environment for employees. Organizations should prioritize benefits plans for all employees that strongly support mental health by including timely access to psychological counseling and mindfulness, nutrition, employee and family assistance programs. Convenient, timely access to quality care is key, providing opportunities for employees to get mental health support, when and where they need it. Offering virtual mental healthcare solutions will be essential in our new world.

VIRTUAL HEALTHCARE FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES

24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the world.

Request more information about virtual care services

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a swift transition

Canadians have embraced virtual care

In 2019, the Canadian Medical Association’s Virtual Care Task Force reported that a national framework for virtual healthcare was required to establish standards for quality service and continuity of care. In the absence of this national framework, the last three decades have seen efforts to implement virtual care at the provincial/territorial level only.

In response to the pandemic, governments and communities made quick changes to keep in accordance with the health authorities’ recommendations for more use of telehealth.

The consensus to date has been that the continued combination of virtual care with in-person visits will be key to success in healthcare models moving forward.