Montréal-based virtual care company EQ Care has launched a new virtual health and wellness platform for workplaces, aimed to modernize traditional employee assistance programs (EAP).
The new platform, called LifeJourney, gives employees personalized support when accessing their care plans, appointments, and prescriptions. LifeJourney comes two months after BetaKit reported that EQ Care had been acquired by Telus Health.
The goal of LifeJourney is to expand employee wellness beyond physical health.
EAPs are confidential, short-term counselling services for employees with personal challenges that can affect their work performance. Most EAPs are targeted at work-related issues, but many can also assist with problems that exist outside of the workplace.
EQ Care said LifeJourney will provide a “traditional EAP foundation,” but will include additional services such as critical incident response, personal crisis management, and organizational coaching. LifeJourney is aimed to centralize an employee’s health and wellbeing experience across a number of areas, including mental health, nutritional aid, financial services, and legal services.
The platform is also intended to provide employers streamlined reporting and billing for EAP services, improved utilization and efficiency, reduced costly service redundancies, and increased productivity from employees using the platform.
Daniel Martz, CEO of EQ Care and now-vice president of virtual care at Telus Health, said the goal of the LifeJourney platform is to expand employee wellness beyond physical health.
“Achieving this balance is the framework for how our care advocates virtually and seamlessly devise personalized care plans through a modernized EAP for employees, who often find themselves dealing with complex and interrelated issues arising over the course of their work lives, particularly now in the face of the pandemic,” Martz said.
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EQ Care has been operating in the virtual healthcare space for more than 30 years. It has developed a platform that provides patients with 24/7 national and bilingual virtual care from any mobile or internet-connected device.
Telus Health’s acquisition of EQ Care last year was part of Telus’ push to become a major player in Canadian healthcare. In June 2020, Telus Health claimed it has invested over $3 billion CAD into the Canadian health ecosystem over the last 10 years, and has approximately 94,000 healthcare professionals connected to its own ecosystem.
EQ Care is not the first virtual care company in Canada to offer EAPs. Last year, Dialogue launched its own EAP offering. At the time of the launch, Dialogue claimed the demand for EAPs has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the crisis has increased the need for employees to seek out financial, legal, and mental health support. Dialogue later expanded its EAP offerings after acquiring Optima Global Health in October.
LifeSpeak, another Canadian startup, which raised $42 million in September, offers educational services in the employee wellness space, such as videos, podcasts and other content for employees focused on preventative health and mental health.
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