Telus, Babylon launch app allowing Canadians to visit doctors through smartphones

Today, Telus Health and Babylon announced the launch of a virtual healthcare solution, allowing Canadians access to healthcare support and information through an app

The Babylon by Telus Health app allows Canadians to speak one-on-one with a licensed doctor through its video consultation feature. People will be able to use the app to access doctor consultation notes, manage prescription details, and get referrals for specialists when needed.

Patients can also use the app’s AI chatbot Symptom Checker, where the chatbot will ask patients questions about their symptoms while providing information on causes or courses of action in return.

“We can use advanced technology to help bring accessible, affordable healthcare services to patients and doctors.”
 

Currently, only BC residents are able to use the app’s video consultation feature, however, the rest of Canada is still able to use the AI chatbot Symptom Checker. The app will be available on in iOS and Android, and is available in English, with a French version to be released later this year.

Telus claimed that its app will improve the efficiency of communication with doctors for overall better healthcare for Canadians.

“Telus Health is leveraging the power of technology to improve health outcomes for all Canadians because we believe that by giving people the right tools, information, and support we can empower them to manage their own health leading to healthier, happier lives,” said Juggy Sihota, VP of Telus Health.

Telus originally announced it was developing Babylon by Telus Health in September of last year. The healthcare arm of the national telecom service provider is also in the process of integrating Babylon’s virtual care platform into Telus Health electronic medical records systems in order to allow physicians to conduct virtual appointments with their own patients.

Other Canadian companies have created similar initiatives surrounding virtual healthcare. Last week, Premier Health Group, a Vancouver tech developer for the healthcare industry, launched an app allowing patients to speak with mental health professionals through online video sessions. In a similar vein, Toronto-based Maple, creators of an online platform allowing people to access a doctor 24/7 by text or video, raised a $4 million Series A last year.

Babylon, which is partnering with Telus for the app, is a UK-based virtual healthcare platform allowing patients to speak with healthcare professionals over text and video. It has operations in the UK and Rwanda, where it launched in 2016, and as of 2018 had more than 20 percent of the adult population of Rwanda registered with its services.

“Consistent with the progressive mindset in this country, our partnership with Telus Health shows that by working closely and collaboratively, we can use advanced technology to help bring accessible, affordable healthcare services to patients and doctors, as demonstrated already in Rwanda and the UK,” said Tracey McNeill, chief mobilisation officer at Babylon.

Featured image via Pixabay.

Sera Wong

Sera Wong

Heyo, Sera here. I love infographics, organizing data, and making lists. I’m an avid lover of cats. Please send cat pics my way at @Sera_wong on Twitter.