Medimap Brings Virtual Care to Canadian Physicians and Patients
It’s a strange time for individuals and businesses as we all determine the best strategies to navigate through our new global reality. At VentureLabs, a number of client companies are fast-tracking their solutions to tackle some of the many challenges COVID-19 brings.
This week, we were fortunate to catch up with Medimap CEO and founder Blake Adam. We caught him in between appointments with Canadian medical clinic operators jumping at the opportunity to implement their virtual care rooms, delivering a webinar to educate physicians on how they can treat patients virtually from all over the province, and training his team on how to onboard new customer service reps to keep up with the incredible demand for Medimap’s Virtual Care service.
VentureLabs (VL): Your team at Medimap seems insanely busy right now. Tell us about your solution and how it has evolved.
Blake Adam: When we launched Medimap four years ago, we first introduced an application for patients to look up wait times at walk-in medical clinics in their community so they could avoid long wait times. Today over 1,200 clinics across Canada use our platform to publish their wait times and millions of patients use medimap.ca to find a walk-in clinic that can take them that day.
After that, we introduced an online check-in feature that lets patients add their name to the clinic’s wait list without making the trip down. When your local clinic has a three hour wait, our online check-in feature keeps you out of the waiting room.
This year, in response to increasing demand from patients and clinics, we added virtual care functionality to our platform to allow patients to connect with doctors who have immediate availability over a secure video call.
Virtual Care is easy to set up: Patients access a private link on any device and simply wait for their physician to join the call in the virtual exam room
Clinics can use our platform to offer virtual care to their own patients when an in-person visit isn’t required. If there are times during their day when they are not busy seeing their own patients, they can turn on their availability to see patients across the province who are looking for immediate access to care.
As a patient you can visit medimap.ca and be on a call with a doctor in your province within 10 minutes. If you need to see a doctor in-person, you can easily compare wait times at nearby clinics. We’re experiencing enormous demand across the country as it is becoming increasingly difficult to find access to care.
VL: How does Medimap’s Virtual Care work?
Blake: Most physicians don’t have the time or technical know-how to implement a complicated enterprise solution. With our service, in less than 10 minutes a clinic owner or physician can start offering virtual care to their own patients. We’ve been receiving great feedback on how easy it is to get Medimap up and running. Patients book appointments with their clinic the same way they’ve always been made, via phone or online. Prior to their appointment, a private link is sent to the patient; the patient can access that link on any device and simply wait for the physician to join the call in the virtual exam room. That’s it. Secure and simple to deploy.
VL: Couldn’t physicians just use any video conferencing service?
Blake: There’s been a lot of media coverage lately about the security practices of some video conferencing applications. That’s a risk that doctors can’t take.
There’s a major difference between using a free service designed to chat with your family and a purpose-built solution with security features so physicians and patients can feel confident in the virtual exam room. A personal health visit needs to be secure. Our solution was designed in alignment with Canada’s privacy legislation to be fully secure. We encrypt all data and store it in Canada. None of the video calls are recorded.
We’re also getting great feedback from doctors that they are thrilled we are a Canadian company designing a solution for Canadian doctors treating Canadian patients.
VL: How do physicians feel about paying for a service?
Blake: Right now the service is free for the first 60 days of use; then we have an affordable and flexible pricing model that reflects the reality of how many clinics work with part-time physicians and variable visit lengths. Doctors are telling us they like the features in Medimap that support multiple doctors at once, and our focus on privacy and security.
“With Medimap, we were able to start offering secure video consultations to our patients in less than 20 minutes. Our staff, doctors, and patients all find it very easy to use and I feel confident working with a Canadian company who fully understands our privacy needs. I would recommend that any health care facility in Canada consider Medimap for their virtual care needs.”Dr. Oyelese, Westside Medical Associates, Kelowna, BC
VL: Do you see the demand for your services declining after COVID-19?
Blake: I don’t believe so. Many doctors that we’re speaking with have started conducting video consults with their patients for the first time as a result of COVID-19 and they are seeing the benefits of it. Certainly we won’t see the utilization rates that we are seeing right now, but speaking with physicians it doesn’t sound like things will revert back to the way they were where only a very small percentage of visits are conducted virtually every year.