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Vancouver startup company aims to reinvent the doctor-patient house call

June 3, 2013 | Telepresence Options

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Story and Images by THANDI FLETCHER / THE PROVINCE

Doctors made house calls in a bygone era, but a Vancouver startup wants to reinvent the antiquated practice by connecting physicians and patients via webcam.

Medeo.ca is a new online platform that lets patients with valid MSP coverage visit a doctor in a virtual office using video-conferencing technology on their computer, iPhone or iPad.

"This is the first time you have been able to have a doctor literally in the palm of your hand," CEO Ryan Wilson told The Province in an exclusive interview before the company's official launch Monday.

Driven by doctors, the Vancouver company developed its service to help patients bypass overcrowded waiting rooms and see a physician faster. The platform can also improve health care access for patients in rural B.C. and First Nations communities, where residents often have to travel hours to see their nearest physician.

When patients signs up on Medeo's website or app, they input their Care Card number, describe their symptoms and provide a basic medical history. They are then contacted via video by a co-ordinator -- within a matter of minutes, according to the developers -- who helps patients book the appointments.

Patients are then contacted either by their own family doctor, if they use the service, or another physician in a private video consultation. The appointment takes place as soon as a doctor is free, said Wilson.

Ensuring health data stays secure is key for the new company, which uses what it describes as "world class, military-grade, bank-level secure data centres" to store confidential patient records.



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