Lumeca Health, a Regina-based healthtech startup, has partnered with telecommunications company SaskTel to make virtual healthcare more accessible for residents of Cowessess First Nation.
The two organizations came up with a solution that allowed residents to download and use the Lumeca app in the rural community by connecting to the community office’s Smart Wi-Fi, which is powered by SaskTel.
The startup received approval from the province to provide its virtual healthcare service in late March.
“Lumeca continues to develop our platform to meet the needs of patients and doctors, especially with the new social distancing norm among us,” said Shawn Hazen, founder of Lumeca. “We continue to innovate and are now developing new ways for patients to see their own family doctors, and for family physicians to reach their patients as continuity of care is vital to healthcare outcomes.”
Founded in 2016, Lumeca offers integrated healthcare services that connect users to doctors, specialists, and mental health professionals. The startup received approval from the Government of Saskatchewan to provide virtual healthcare services and COVID-19 screening to the province’s residents in late March.
The startup’s technology gives patients direct access to licenced Saskatchewan doctors through secure text, audio, and video consultations. Doctors on the platform provide advice, diagnoses, and prescriptions for a wide range of conditions. Lumeca’s service is also available for COVID-19 screening and general health consultations.
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According to a 2018 report, there are many barriers to accessing healthcare services for Indigenous people in Canada, particularly for remote Indigenous communities. Geographic isolation can add to the challenge of accessing medical care or health advice.
“It’s important our community members have the support and resources to take care of their health when they need it,” said Chief of Cowessess First Nation Cadmus Delorme. “Being able to access a doctor immediately for treatable conditions, from the comfort of our homes on reserve will really impact the quality of life for the Cowessess people as well better exercise our Treaty Right to Health.”
Lumeca is available to all Saskatchewan residents with a valid Saskatchewan Health Card for COVID-19 screening and general health consultations.