There’s never been a better time to connect with doctors from home.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic brought an untold number of changes to our accustomed way of life, visiting the doctor’s office was common and routine. But as people tried to stay home and avoid outside interactions with others beyond their household, looking after some basic health care needs became more challenging. This is a concern, since waiting longer to visit a medical practitioner can have serious health consequences for some people.
Fortunately, digital technology has enabled the world to function on a near-normal basis amid the effort to defeat the virus. The health care field is no exception – online access to real-time information and virtual connections with health care professionals have made life more bearable during the pandemic. And the advancements haven’t stopped there. Addressing primary medical concerns from a distance has come a long way, too.
A case in point is Akira by TELUS Health, a handy web and mobile app that’s bridging the gap that has expanded between Canadians and their health care providers over the past year. Individual health and dental insurance plan holders who have activated their Akira account can use the app to speak directly to registered clinicians at any time of the day or night. Akira offers them the means to receive a number of medical services without leaving the comfort of their home, including:
- Diagnosis and advice for a broad range of health care concerns
- Clinical screening and mental health assessments and support
- Referrals to registered mental health and other therapists within Canada
- Personalized mental wellness plan management
- New and refill prescriptions
- Referrals for diagnostic services, such as lab work or MRIs
Most of the services and consultations can be completed through text messaging and encrypted, live video chats, making distance irrelevant. Users can access the same care, clinicians and specialists whether they live in one of the country’s busiest cities, the far reaches of a rural community or anywhere in between.
It’s difficult to imagine what living and working through the pandemic would be like without the aid of the digital devices and programs that supply our whims and needs. As the technology becomes easier to use, virtual health care is proving to be a solution that eases patient anxiety and frustration while reducing the pressure on health care workers and workplaces, especially during these stressful times.
How to get Akira by TELUS Health
Once you determine whether your individual health and dental insurance provider has an established partnership with Akira, search for the “Akira Healthcare On-Demand” app on the App Store or Google Play (or use a link from your insurance company’s website) and download the app. After you register some basic personal information and create your own password, you can begin taking advantage of virtual health care services as soon as you need them. For more information about Akira, enter the word in the “Search” bar available here.