Telus Health acquires Montréal’s EQ Care in latest move to increase virtual care reach

Montréal-based virtual care company EQ Care has been acquired by Telus Health, BetaKit has learned.

A spokesperson for Telus confirmed the transaction to BetaKit, Friday. The deal has yet to be announced publicly, with sources indicating to BetaKit a possible planned announcement in the new year. Both Telus Health and EQ Care would not comment on the terms of the deal.

“This combining of forces ultimately enhances TELUS Health’s existing complement of patient-centric virtual care.”

“The acquisition of EQ Care, a leading virtual care provider in Canada, will enable broader access to digital healthcare services and better health outcomes for Canadians, improving the overall patient experience,” the spokesperson said.

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. It is considered a pioneer and market leader in Canadian virtual care and claims to have been the first to have offered virtual services in Canada in both English and French in all provinces and territories.

Telus Health’s acquisition of EQ represents an ongoing push to be a major player in the Canadian healthcare space. Telus Health touts itself as Canada’s largest healthcare IT provider and offers a number of virtual care, and healthtech solutions through its own development, as well as acquisitions. In 2019, the company attributed part of its revenue growth to “increased Telus Health revenues driven by business acquisitions and expanded services for existing customers.”

In its Q2 and Q3 reports from this year, the telecommunications giant reported a decrease in revenues from its in-person clinics, but increased demand for virtual care solutions. Telus indicated plans to expand those virtual care solutions.

Telus Health offers a variety of virtual care solutions, many of which were built through acquisitions. In 2018, Telus Health partnered with British digital healthcare service provider Babylon Health to launch a virtual care mobile app. It has also acquired electronic medical records software company Nightingale and web-based prescription technology ZRx Prescriber.

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The company’s current virtual care solutions include at-home monitoring for seniors, an emergency medical record platform, as well as Babylon by TELUS Health and Akira by TELUS Health, the latter of which it acquired in 2019 and is focused on businesses and organizations.

Babylon, a healthcare app that allows people to check symptoms, consult doctors and access clinical records, is currently Telus’ only general virtual health solution servicing consumers. It is available in just four provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. The acquisition of EQ Care represents a major expansion of Telus Health’s virtual care offering across Canada.

“This combining of forces ultimately enhances TELUS Health’s existing complement of patient-centric virtual care offerings, while ensuring current customers of EQ Care continue to receive the same quality of care they have come to trust,” the spokesperson told BetaKit.

“Since investing in digital health technologies more than a decade ago, TELUS Health continues to make progress towards its vision of transforming healthcare by delivering connected solutions and services to empower people to live healthier lives,” they added.

The spokesperson did not respond to questions about how EQ Care will operate following the acquisition. If previous acquisitions are any indication, Telus Health has worked to combine and build Telus-branded offerings with its companies, while allowing them to operate with some amount of independence.

EQ Care did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Image source EQ Care via website

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Associate Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.