CloudMD Software and Services (DOC.C) has expanded the reach of its telemedicine app, CloudMD, to service Ontarians.
Even before the coronavirus made going outside for any extended reason verboten, doctors were in short supply. Naturally, this depended on where you were in the province. Someone living off of Bloor Street in Toronto might have a better chance of finding a physician to meet their needs than someone a few miles out of Attawapiskat.
Now the free to download and use app lets people book same-day appointments with a licensed physician in their own province. The company has onboarded a roster of Ontario doctors to address Ontarians’ health concerns using secure, real-time videoconferencing on the app.
“The coronavirus pandemic has transformed public behaviour faster than ever before, and in response we’re seeing government move at uncharacteristic speed to adapt to this ‘new normal’ we find ourselves in. With many global forecasts predicting the coronavirus crisis will last until spring 2021, this is our opportunity to show the benefits of telemedicine, and how it can be used effectively to receive timely care and reduce strain on hospital resources, while minimizing the outbreak’s spread,” said Dr. Essam Hamza, CEO of Cloud MD.
Ontario hospitals are struggling with the extensive demands placed on them by the pandemic. The province reported another 351 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, which was the largest single-day spike in cases thus far. Four-hundred-and-thirty-one cases were deemed resolved, meaning the active case total in Ontario stands at 1,252 and the cumulative total is 1,706. Now the total number of cases in the province is 1,355.
The death toll jumped from 10 to 33.
Anything that helps you stay home and limit the amount of times you have to put yourself at risk has to be a good thing, right?
The Province of Ontario announced an emergency telemedicine billing code earlier this month that lets patients to be billed through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
Telemedicine increases capacity at hospitals that were already operating beyond capacity pre-coronavirus, but also provides convenient access to physicians for all Ontarians covered under OHIP. That way a doctor can assess a non-critical case over the app instead of taking up valuable hospital space, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, letting people with medical concerns that aren’t COVID-19 related see a doctor without the risks associated with being physically in a hospital.
Quick facts about CloudMD:
- The app is now available to 20 million patients in B.C. and Ontario.
- Service is available seven days a week, Monday to Friday 9am – 7pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am – 5pm.
- The number of patient consultations on the app has increased by over 69 per cent in just the last two weeks.
- There has been a 71 per cent increase in app downloads since the start of the coronavirus self-isolation period in Canada.
The demand for digital healthcare was steadily growing even before the pandemic, if the positive reception CloudMD received after its British Columbia launch earlier this year is any indication. Now as Canadians settle into their self-isolation and social distancing routines, the demand has met with a natural increase. CloudMD has been averaging more than 100 consultations a day since the coronavirus self-isolation period started, and in the past two weeks alone, the company has seen a 69% increase in patient consultations, with last week up 83% compared to the first week of March.
CloudMD is now available free to download at the Apple App Store and Google Play .