Get Canada’s Best Online Consultation App For Doctors in 2021
2 months ago
With patients preferring online consultation over in-person meetings with doctors, doctors leave with no choice than adopting virtual care or telemedicine.
According to our internal survey, around 37% more healthcare providers are providing online consultation in March 2021 as compared to March 2019.
And around 62% of healthcare providers are considering switching to virtual medical practice due to the pandemic and patients’ preference.
So, if you are one of them and planning for the same with your own mobile or web app, this blog is for you.
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Are online consultations legal for doctors in Canada?
Yes, it is. In fact, the government, universities and medical organizations are promoting the use of virtual care due to its safety, affordability and convenience.
However, they are recommending few technical and clinical steps to ensure quality care and to ensure the privacy of ePHI.
For instance, the federal and provincial governments have imposed several data privacy laws which apply to the mobile/web apps doctors are using for online consultation.
The only goal of these laws is to make sure adequate measures are taken to protect the personal and medical data of patients.
Same way, OTN (Ontario Telemedicine Network) has published some basic technical, privacy and security requirements for all telemedicine solutions or apps in Ontario.
You can read OTN requirements here.
Thus, if you follow all guidelines - especially government guidelines - you will not trap in legal trouble.
But if you offer online consultation with a non-compliant telemedicine app or website, privacy commissioners will send you the summon!
How do I do an online consultation?
It is much easier, faster and convenient than in-person consultation.
The resources you would require:
- Telemedicine for doctors mobile or web app
- Smartphone, tablet or computer
- Internet connection
If you are thinking of doing online consultation via Skype or Zoom, read this blog to know why you must drop that idea right now.
The step-by-step process for online medical consultation:
- The patient himself books the appointment or you book it on behalf of him if he is your existing patient.
- Personal details and health card details are required to book the appointment. (If a patient is uninsured, payment details are required.)
- You and the patient both get a reminder for the upcoming appointment.
- By clicking on the joining link, you and the patient can join the secure video call.
The following is easy patient onboarding workflow.
- Thanks to EHR/EMR integration, you can easily access the patient’s medical history and other details from the telemedicine app itself.
- You can prepare the medical note while having the video call.
- You can explore the drug directory and write the ePrescription.
- If you need to refer the patient to a specialist, you can write the referral note and send a referral to the specialist from the app itself.
- The referral note is auto-generated. You only need to add the refer message. The app adds the rest of the things such as the patient's details and introductory message by itself.
- You can write the ePrescription which gets stored under the patient's profile.
- The patient now needs to select the pharmacy to get the prescription delivered to his doorstep.
- The patient can download the medical note and sick note in PDF format.
- If he is uninsured, he can make the payment from the app itself.
- The app reminds him to take the medication on time.
- The app also reminds him to book the follow-up appointment.
The following is a basic virtual care workflow for your easy understanding.
What physicians and telemedicine experts have to say about online consultation?
We on average meet 5 physicians and telemedicine experts in a week. All of them tag online consultation as the future of healthcare.
They everyday experience how telemedicine solves major 2 challenges of our healthcare system - long waiting time and costly care.
Emergency room physician Dr. Brett Belchetz has launched the telemedicine platform named Maple to connect physicians and patients virtually.
He said that Maple works like the Uber model where they just provide a platform where physicians and patients can talk virtually.
In this video, he explains how virtual care transfers healthcare.
However, Aude Motulsky, a research scientist at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre has highlighted a major limitation of virtual care delivery.
He said, “The biggest issue with such services is quality of care when physicians don't have access to a patient's medical history.”
This is why it is very crucial to integrate EHR/EMR with telemedicine which facilitates doctors to know the medical history of the patients from the app itself.
Which app is best for online doctor consultation?
A dozen technology companies have launched virtual care apps in Canada in the last couple of years.
The following are top telemedicine for doctors apps.
Individual doctors can register on these apps and provide online consultation.
They can also buy a subscription to one such app to deploy it at their clinics and provide virtual care to their patients.
- 24/7 access to doctors
- Sick notes
- Portable medical records
You should read: How to develop a telemedicine app like Maple?
2. Babylon by TELUS Health
- Fixed fee
- AI-enabled chat-style symptom checker
- Save clinical record
- Top-rated telehealth app
- Treat a wide array of mild medical issues
- Users can access dietitians and mental health specialists
- Encrypted conversation
- Referrals for lab tests and specialists
- Instant call with a healthcare provider
- Talk to a doctor via text, call, video
- Easy follow-up appointments
- Clean and appealing UI of the app
- Referrals to in-person specialists
Coming back to the question - which app is the best telemedicine for doctors app?
The answer is - none of these.
Because, if you want to use these apps in your clinic or hospital, you should pay them the monthly fee which is either fixed or based on the number of patients.
In return, you get the app that they have developed for all - not for you!
And the one-fits-all approach does not work in healthcare.
The following content will help you more.
Your own telemedicine app vs others’ subscription-based apps
- App ownership
When you develop your own app, you own it completely and free to make the changes the way you like.
Whereas, in subscription-based apps, you own nothing - even if you are paying monthly fees.
In fact, they have control over your and your patients’ data.
And since you don’t have ownership, you can’t make changes in it according to your patients’ needs.
The upfront cost to develop your app is high. But it guarantees high ROI.
Whereas, subscription-based apps cost you less. But after some time, it starts burning your pocket.
Because, if you are paying $20 per patient as the subscription fee and you annually see 1500 patients, you can develop your own app with this money rather than paying $30000 as an annual subscription fee to that 3rd party app!
- Customization according to clinical workflows
You can develop the custom app based on your clinical workflows which assure high patient outcomes with quality care.
Whereas, the subscription-based app does not let you customize it based on your clinical workflows.
And if they allow, they charge you a hefty amount for it.
Check out our white-label telemedicine solution for Canadian doctors
If you are planning to build an online consultation app for doctors and worrying about compliance and development costs, you are about to experience peace of mind.
We’re Ontario-based telemedicine tech and compliance experts.
We have delivered more than 30 custom telemedicine apps to Canadian doctors in the last few years.
Last year, we launched a white-label telemedicine app which was a massive success due to our in-depth understanding of the Canadian healthcare system and needs.
- It is compliant with HIPAA/PHIPA/PIPEDA and other provincial privacy laws
- It is customizable
- It is affordable
- Integration with your preferred EHR/EMR
- You enjoy complete ownership
Here are some of the screenshots of it.
To be familiar with our skillset and working methodology, you can read our most recent case study on telemedicine app development.