In Canada, we pride ourselves on our healthcare system—and the fact that equitable, quality coverage is available to all citizens. But the sector isn’t known for efficiency or innovation; wait times have long been an issue, as has a lack of interoperability between practitioners. The pandemic, however, has forced rapid change in the healthcare sector—opening up opportunities for innovation, and boosting the fortunes of several startups offering digital tech solutions. In this episode of Disruptors, an RBC podcast, guest host Trinh Theresa Do speaks with three Canadian entrepreneurs who are working to reimagine how Canadian healthcare is delivered: Dr. Brett Belchetz, co-founder and CEO of virtual health app Maple; Hamed Shahbazi, founder and CEO of Well Health Technologies; and Anna Chif, co-founder and chief strategy and product officer for telemedicine company Dialogue. In February 2020, fewer than a quarter of family physicians in Canada made themselves available by email, and just four percent provided video visits. Three months into the pandemic, virtual care represented more than 70 percent of the ambulatory care provided. The pandemic has also spurred rapid digitization of doctor’s offices and clinics from coast to coast to coast. The question is: how much further can this transformation go?
To learn more about the companies mentioned in the show and the services they offer, follow the links for Maple, Well Health, and Dialogue.
Last December, the CD Howe Institute published a report on how technology is transforming healthcare called Canada’s Virtual Care Revolution: A Framework for Success. You can read it here.