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Virtual Care: Helping Women Live Healthier, Longer Lives

How virtual health care helps a Vancouver native avoid traffic and wasted time in waiting rooms, all while taking care of her family’s health.
Virtual Care: Helping Women Live Healthier, Longer Lives
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A few months ago, Kathleen Reid took a photo of her sore throat and uploaded it to her Maple account. A doctor on Maple, an app that offers Canadians virtual access to primary care providers, told her within minutes that what she thought was just a cold was actually strep throat. Antibiotics were delivered straight to her home.

As a mom of two boys, the Vancouver communications executive and entrepreneur says that Maple saves her family time. “As the default parent, I already feel like I have a lot to balance without spending 15 minutes on hold to book an appointment for later in the week or hours in a doctor’s waiting room.”

As someone who is legally blind and doesn’t drive, accessible care is crucial for Reid. But relying on walk-in clinics and emergency room visits means dealing with long wait times, inconvenient hours and transportation challenges.

Virtual Care: Helping Women Live Healthier, Longer LivesKathleen Reid and her kids

Bridging the healthcare gap

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Reid isn’t alone in her struggles juggling her family’s health and her career. A 2023 OurCare national survey revealed that more than one in five Canadian adults—approximately 6.5 million people—do not have a regular family physician or nurse practitioner they can see for ongoing care. Millions more may be left without access to primary care in the future as nearly one in six family doctors in Canada is 65 and older and planning to retire in the next few years, according to a report from The Globe and Mail.

Among Canadians who have a family doctor, OurCare noted that only 35 per cent receive a same-day or next-day appointment when they need care urgently. Fortunately, Maple can help bridge this gap. A consultation with a primary care provider—such as a doctor and nurse practitioner—via Maple’s easy-to-use app can provide immediate care for acute issues like bladder infections and rashes, including filling a prescription (with delivery to your door or local pharmacy).

Treating long-term health

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Maple can offer you peace of mind, especially if you’re worried about symptoms linked to chronic conditions. For many women over 45, osteoporosis, breast cancer and type 2 diabetes are more common but can be detected early through screening tests. These tests are key for long-term health. Forty-five per cent of Canadians have a preventable disease, and following health recommendations could extend lives by 10 years or more.

Through its app or website, Maple can provide direct access to primary care providers who can issue referrals. Specialists are also available for direct booking through Maple. The company enables these connections by tapping into the excess capacity of health care providers who can take on extra virtual shifts without being pulled away from their day-to-day jobs. Sixty-five per cent of doctors and nurses on Maple speak more than one language, representing 35 languages in total.

Plus, knowing you can add and check your medical records anytime in the Maple app can give you more agency in your medical journey.

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You may be thinking: This sounds great, but is virtual health care effective? A number of studies from Canada and around the world show that virtual care (which can include video, text messaging, telephone and online appointments) is a popular and effective approach. A 2022 Canadian Medical Association study found that 91 per cent of Canadians who have accessed care virtually were satisfied with their experience.

Reid, through her Maple experience, is one of these Canadians. “It’s an awesome app. I’m happy we have Canadians innovating in health care.”

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Download the Maple app on iOS or Android, or visit getmaple.ca to learn more about how it helps you take charge of your and your family’s health.

Virtual Care: Helping Women Live Healthier, Longer Lives
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