BookJane repurposes platform to help Ontario Medical Association fight COVID-19


Toronto-based startup BookJane has repurposed its healthcare platform to help the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) meet the demand for physicians in the province’s fight against COVID-19.

“We are helping to provide relief to overworked physicians and directly address any short-staffing need.”

The startup’s J360 platform, which was built to help caregivers fill and manage shifts, will now allow hospitals and healthcare facilities to book a doctor to provide relief to overworked physicians and address short staffing.

BookJane said the OMA was searching for a platform that could connect its 32,000 physician members and 10,000 retired members with hospitals that need additional workers during the crisis.

“Our BookJane J360 Platform will allow any hospital or health care facility in Ontario to book a physician when they need one in seconds,’ said Curtis Khan, CEO and founder of BookJane. “We are helping to provide relief to overworked physicians and directly address any short-staffing need.”

BookJane said OMA persuaded the startup to retool its platform for OMA members. Since then, the OMA has been working with BookJane to tailor the app to ensure Ontario’s physicians are working where they are most needed. The platform launched officially on April 3, and since launch, 1,500 physicians have registered.

The proprietary BookJane J360 Platform allows any hospital or healthcare facility in the province to immediately broadcast a service request to physicians across Ontario, based on proximity and availability. The requests appear directly on physician’s phones through the mobile app to ensure the quickest response time and acceptance of the request.

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BookJane had previously developed a mobile app that helps users find caregivers or babysitters for children and seniors on demand. The flagship app, which is still being offered amid the repurposing, lets retirement homes, long-term care, hospitals, child care centers, and agencies find caregivers within their neighbourhood, and search prospective caregivers’ profiles, credentials and availability before they hire them. The company was launched in 2016 and received an investment from Toronto-based Revera in 2018.

BookJane is currently working with other caregiver associations to migrate their memberships onto the platform.

A number of Canadian startups and tech organizations have retooled their offerings in order to support local and federal efforts to fight the pandemic. The Vector Institute has repurposed some of its AI infrastructure to support a COVID-19 health data project led by the Ontario government and educational toy startup InkSmith also retooled and launched a new company to create personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.

In March, the federal government announced it would refocus innovation programs like the Strategic Innovation Fund, National Research Council of Canada, and Innovation Superclusters to help in its fight against COVID-19. The government is actively looking for technology solutions that can help in this effort.

Similar initiatives are being undertaken by provinces. In Ontario, for example, the provincial government has launched a COVID-19 collaboration platform to procure technologies that can help fight the pandemic. British Columbia is also collaborating with companies like Food-X and Traction on Demand on solutions that protect public health and supply chains.

BookJane said it is currently working with other caregiver associations to migrate their memberships onto the platform so that hospitals may be able to access one hub for a variety of staffing needs.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Luis Melendez.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.