Addressing Our Overwhelmed Health Care System: Toronto Startup, MediSeen, Aims to Improve Patient Access to Quality Health Care by Reviving the House Call
First Digital Platform to Deliver Multiple Health Care Services to Your Door
TORONTO, Dec. 3, 2018 /CNW/ - We live in a world where people expect personalized, convenient access to various services at their fingertips – without hassle, worry or wait times. Health care delivery should be no different. MediSeen, a Toronto-based health tech company, has launched a free digital home health care platform offering patients personalized, convenient access to a range of health care professionals at their door; helping ease the burden of an overwhelmed health care system – starting in the Toronto region with rapid expansion plans to serve more patients.
Studies show that Canadians interact with the health care system approximately six times per year and that one in 10 Canadians has over 10 interactions per year.1 When compared to 11 other countries, Canada has the highest percentage (29% or 1 in 3 people) waiting 4+ hours in an emergency room setting before being treated.2,3 Yet, 41 per cent of Canadians say their last visit to an ER was for something that could have been treated in primary care, if their regular provider had been available.2 Unfortunately, one in five Canadians report waiting seven+ days to see a family doctor the last time they needed medical attention.3
Long waits and overcrowding aren't simply an inconvenience – they often negatively impact patient outcomes.4,5 Patients waiting longer are more likely to experience delays in the treatment of pain or suffering, to express higher dissatisfaction, and to leave without receiving treatment.4 Long wait times also lead to missed work, lost wages, and added stress.6
"As a medical community, we constantly strive for better ways to serve patients so they don't feel they have to turn to "Dr. Google" or head to the nearest hospital emergency room," says Dr. Thomas Debssou, a Toronto-based GP. "Offering in-home or at-work care offers greater flexibility for patients and gives health care providers like me a means to build and scale our own practices. It also alleviates unnecessary after-hour hospital visits to ensure bed space is available for critical care patients."
Home Health Care Delivery through Technology: The MediSeen Approach
Canadians seem to have growing confidence in today's health care system, yet many do not believe their care is integrated.7 Optimizing day-to-day quality of life and preventing poor health outcomes often involves access to care from a range of health professionals who are interacting with one another.8
MediSeen goes beyond similar services that only enable doctor house calls. Here, patients also have access to a full range of allied health professionals at their doorsteps – social workers, chiropractors, physiotherapists, acupuncturists, osteopaths, and beyond – to support positive health outcomes. Through the MediSeen app or website, people can choose the specific provider they want to see, as well as the time and location. They can also securely connect with the provider to coordinate the visit – same day and advanced bookings are available.
"As a mother of four, it is difficult to juggle health care visits for me and my girls," says Melissa Oziel. "Whatever the situation, I want to know that we all have access to quality care without having to worry or wait. Recently, my 15-month old came down with a rash and we ended up spending four hours at a walk-in clinic just to be rushed in and rushed out without a proper diagnosis or treatment. That's when I went onto the MediSeen website and requested an at-home visit. The doctor fit us into his schedule that day and gave us the much-needed attention and care we needed – accurately diagnosing my daughter's rash and prescribing us an effective treatment. From start to finish, the care we received was personal and focused, and helped our family quickly get back to our daily routine."
A unique and important attribute to MediSeen is that their software is equipped with a Personal Electronic Health Record* functionality so users can maintain their own health data and manage their bookings – ideal for people with children or aging parents. This Record can be viewed, accessed or downloaded at any time. Plus, health providers can include complete and accurate summaries of an individual's medical assessments and care that can be reviewed by the next chosen provider (with the user's permission).
As health care delivery continues to evolve in a digital era, Canadians worry about the potential loss of human touch and accuracy of diagnosis.1 "MediSeen's technology is designed to encourage face-to-face interactions, while providing modern day convenience and addressing accessibility barriers encountered by many," says Daniel Warner, Founder and CEO of MediSeen. "Creating more access points for care in the community—including the patient's home or work—results in better access and more affordable, personalized care while alleviating overcrowding and extensive wait times. We truly believe the future of health care is at home."
Daniel lives with Crohn's Disease and knows personally the powerful impact having convenient, quality health care can have on a person's life after spending countless hours scheduling appointments, commuting to hospitals and clinics, and sitting in waiting rooms.
Founded in 2017, MediSeen is a secure, cloud-based digital platform that connects patients with health care providers who make house calls for non-emergency medical services in Toronto via their website and mobile app. Individuals create a free account to use the app or website and schedule appointments from there – appointments can be made seven days a week with times dependent on a practitioner's schedule. During the pilot phase, 2,000+ people signed up to use the service. Physician visits are covered by OHIP. Non-OHIP services can be easily paid for on MediSeen via credit card and reimbursed through insurance. Additional details can be found at www.mediseen.ca.
*Differs from the more widely used electronic medical record, which is operated by institutions (such as hospitals) and contains data entered by clinicians (such as billing data) to support insurance claims.
Canadian Medical Association. Shaping the Future of Health and Medicine (Aug.14, 2018). https://www.cma.ca/En/Lists/Medias/Shaping%20the%20Future%20of%20Health%20and%20Medicine.pdf. Accessed November 2018.
Canadian Institute for Health Information. How Canada Compares: Results from the Commonwealth Fund's 2016 International Health Policy Survey of Adults in 11 Countries. https://www.cihi.ca/sites/default/files/document/text-alternative-version-2016-cmwf-en-web.pdf. Accessed November 2018.
Canadian Institute for Health Information. Commonwealth Fund Survey 2016: Infographic https://www.cihi.ca/en/commonwealth-fund-survey-2016-infographic. Accessed November 2018.
Canadian Institute for Health Information. Health Care in Canada, 2012: A Focus on Wait Times. https://www.cihi.ca/en/hcic2012_ch2_en.pdf. Accessed November 2018.
Healthy Debate. The risks of emergency department overcrowding. https://healthydebate.ca/2011/07/topic/politics-of-health-care/ed-wait-times. Accessed November 2018.
Ontario Medical Association. Not a Second Longer. http://notasecondlonger.ca/about/. Accessed November 2018.
Health Council of Canada. Canadian Health Care Matters Bulletin. https://secure.cihi.ca/free_products/HCC_CMWF_Bulletin_8_Eng.pdf. Accessed November 2018.
Care Search. Palliative Care Knowledge Network. The Role of Health Professionals. https://www.caresearch.com.au/caresearch/ForPatientsandFamilies/AboutPalliativeCare/WhoProvidesPalliativeCare/TheRoleofHealthProfessionals/tabid/954/Default.aspx. Accessed November 2018.