New virtual checkup service eliminates wait times
Lynda Steele & Sandra Hermiston, CTV British Columbia
Published Monday, May 19, 2014 6:00AM PDT
A new and free telehealth service that links up patients and doctors in B.C. is eliminating long waits at the doctor’s office.
Lucy Yang is a Medeo user who turns to the virtual service to get her prescriptions renewed.
"You just have to have your email plugged in, make yourself a user name and password and you immediately get sent a confirmation password," said Yang.
When the house call begins you are placed in a virtual waiting room, where you wait to see the physician from the comfort of your own home.
After a brief consultation and a review of Yang's medical records, a prescription request is sent directly to her drugstore.The process takes less than 15 minutes.
"It saves me so much time. I mean, we're all really busy people, so having two, three hours, shaved off your day and avoiding long waits at a doctor's office just makes life so much easier," Yang said.
From prescription refills to psychiatric care, Medeo is appealing to a surprising demographic.
"It opens up patients that would otherwise never walk into a clinic. A number of young men, in particular with mental health concerns, are the ones we never see in real life," said Dr. Alexandra Greenhill, Medeo physician.
Thousands of B.C. patients have tried the telehealth service since it launched in Jan. 2013. Over 250 doctors are now online, with another 10 signing up each week. Seventy-five per cent are general practitioners and the other 25 per cent are specialists that are normally difficult to access.
"In many cases, people have seen the doctor in the morning and been able to see a specialist same day, or same week," said Ryan Wilson, Medeo CEO.
Possible prescription abuse is flagged by the B.C. Pharmanet system and the Medeo website uses the kind of security systems employed by banks. Patient records can only be accessed by medical staff.
Everything your doctor would normally do for free in their office, is free through Medeo. The service also works well for people with mobility issues, like seniors and the disabled. It also helps patients find a permanent family doctor.