Toronto-based virtual care platform Maple announced that it is launching an online screening program for COVID-19 starting March 17th.
Maple provides virtual visits for patients and physicians, and is now offering a coronavirus screening program to residents in Ontario.
The company says that the screening program is covered by OHIP, and allows residents to talk to a doctor through an audio or video chat about their symptoms and receive guidance on whether they need testing or emergency care.
Users just need to register for an account, then click ‘See doctor’ to submit their request. In their request, they can choose the option for ‘COVID-19 screening.’
Patients will need to have a valid Ontario health card, as the service is being covered by the Ontario government. Maple says that patients will get a response from a doctor as soon as one is available.
Maple notes that the service is expected to alleviate pressure on overburdened emergency rooms, and allow patients to safely receive screening from home. After the consultation, patients will be able to fax a summary of their results to their family doctor or local testing centre.
This has become possible after Ontario activated temporary billing codes on March 13th to allow for telephone and video screening during the coronavirus outbreak.
Although Maple’s regular service is available in B.C., it cannot provide the COVID-19 screening service to B.C. residents because unlike Ontario it has not activated the necessary billing codes.
Further, Maple is not available in other provinces because Ontario and B.C. are the only regions that currently allow doctors to see patients via video consultations.
The service will be available starting March 17th from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, and more information can be found here.