WELL Health Launches "VirtualClinic+", A Comprehensive Telehealth Program Across Canada
- VirtualClinic+ by WELL Health gives Canadians across the country convenient access to telehealth services. To get started please visit virtual.wellclinics.ca. There is no need to download or configure an app.
- VirtualClinic+ provides physicians a platform to add telehealth consultations as a convenient enhancement to their existing family practice. It also allows physicians to offer primary care for unattached patients. There are an estimated 4.8 million Canadians1 who are currently without a family doctor.
- Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, WELL plans to rapidly ramp up the program in order to meet the growing demand for healthcare services with participation from physicians everywhere across Canada including physicians from its own network of clinics.
- VirtualClinic+ is also fully compatible with the OSCAR2 EMR and is available to be activated by any of the ~1500 clinics in WELL’s EMR network supporting more than 8,000 doctors who are caring for more than 10M patients3.
Vancouver, BC, March 2, 2020 - WELL Health Technologies Corp. (TSX: WELL) (the “Company” or “WELL”), a company focused on consolidating and modernizing clinical and digital assets within the primary healthcare sector, is pleased to announce it has launched WELL Health VirtualClinic+ (“VirtualClinic+”), its telehealth service for Canadians. VirtualClinic+ is a digital health communications platform that connects patients to physicians through video, phone and secure messaging. VirtualClinic+ supports both longitudinal care with family practice visits and is an ideal platform for potentially supplying episodic care for the estimated 4.8 million Canadians1 who are currently without a family doctor. These capabilities are designed to support continuity of care, improve accessibility to quality care, and ultimately drive better health outcomes.
With the recent COVID-19, or Coronavirus outbreak, telehealth offers Canadians an alternative to lengthy waiting room visits in brick and mortar medical clinics. Patients can now schedule an appointment online and connect directly with a physician on their phone, tablet, or computer without the need to download or configure an app. BC residents with a valid BC MSP4 health card can use the service for no cost5. Patients in other provinces will receive a receipt that may be reimbursed through a health spending account or other private insurance plans.
“We are very proud to be launching VirtualClinic+,” said Dr. Michael Frankel, Chief Medical Officer of WELL. “As a physician with experience working with various telehealth platforms over the past several years, I believe VirtualClinic+ is the most comprehensive telemedicine program in Canada due to its coverage of a number of different use cases and scenarios including virtual walk-in and due to its empowerment of family practice clinics to support existing attached patients. All participating doctors in the program are Canadian licensed physicians who share in WELL’s vision of using technology solutions to improve patient access and outcomes.”
WELL now offers physicians the unprecedented opportunity to provide their own patients with access to convenient telehealth consultations, in addition to responding to the demand for episodic care. This offers physicians the flexibility to provide care anytime, from the comfort of their own home or office, to patients who are seeking convenient telehealth consultations.
VirtualClinic+ is fully integrated with the OSCAR2 EMR system to ensure a seamless experience for physicians offering telehealth. Over the past several months WELL’s product development and clinic transformation teams have been working internally with our WELL EMR Group as well as our external technology service providers to develop VirtualClinic+. WELL has already successfully onboarded physicians in a number of its own corporate owned and operated clinics that utilize OSCAR EMR and will be aggressively ramping up additional physicians and clinics in the coming weeks.
“Physicians in our network are now seeking virtual tools unlike any other time in the history of our clinical business,” said Mr. Amir Javidan, WELL’s Chief Operating Officer, who directly oversees the VirtualClinic+ program. “We believe this is due to a combination of factors but also lately, this has been due to the rise of COVID-19. With tools like VirtualClinic+, physicians will have more ways that they can meet the growing demand for telehealth consultation services. To our knowledge, WELL owns and operates the 4th largest primary clinic network in the country and the largest in the province of British Columbia; hence, this makes us truly unique in our ability to integrate both virtual and physical healthcare experiences together.”
- Source: StatsCan report released on Sept 27, 2017, “Primary Health Care Providers, 2016”
- OSCAR, an acronym for “Open Source Clinical Application Resource”, is an open-source EMR system developed by McMaster University’s Department of Family Medicine.
- Patient counts are based on total aggregate number of registered patient profiles and not unique patients. These patient counts have not been adjusted for deceased, inactive or duplicate patient profiles.
- BC MSP is an acronym for British Columbia Medical Services Plan. MSP is a health insurance plan that pays for medically required services of physicians and surgeons. Residents of BC are eligible and are required to enrol themselves and their dependents with MSP.
- In this case, the physician is reimbursed for the consultation by BC MSP.
WELL HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES CORP.
Per: “Hamed Shahbazi”
Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Director
WELL is a unique company that is leveraging technology to positively impact health outcomes to empower patients and doctors. WELL operates Primary Healthcare Facilities as well as a significant EMR or Electronic Medical Records business that supports the digitization of such clinics. WELL owns and operates 20 medical clinics, is a majority owner of SleepWorks Medical and provides digital Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software and services to 1,446 medical clinics across Canada. WELL's overarching objective is to empower doctors to provide the best and most advanced care possible while leveraging the latest trends in digital health. WELL is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WELL.T". WELL was recognized as a TSX Venture 50 Company in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
This news release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, including, without limitation: WELL’s plans to aggressively ramp up the virtual program in order to meet the growing demand for healthcare services; and the intent to aggressively ramp up the onboarding of additional physicians and clinics in the coming weeks. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties, and contingencies. These statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “may”, “should”, “will”, “could”, “intend”, “estimate”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “believe” or “continue”, or the negative thereof or similar variations. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause future results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the estimated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements and the forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. WELL’s statements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties, and conditions, many of which are outside of WELL 's control, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding the VirtualClinic+ program, including: that WELL’s assumptions in making forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect; adverse market conditions; risks inherent in the primary healthcare sector in general; privacy and cyber security risks associated with the program; that market competition may affect the successful roll-out and adoption of the VirtualClinic+ program or, conversely, that the program can address market demand; and the assumptions, qualifications and risk factors noted in WELL’s MD&A and other public disclosure documents filed on SEDAR. Except as required by securities law, WELL does not assume any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, events or otherwise.
Neither the TSX nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For further information:
Pardeep S. Sangha
VP Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations