Quebec is set to launch digital health booklets to support its citizens
The Montreal Gazette has recently announced that in January, Quebec citizens will be able to look up their recent test results in a new ‘digital booklet’. With ambitions to give greater control in the daily management of patients’ healthcare, the move will give patients greater control and create transparency, something which the healthcare sector routinely lacks.
Similar to an online bank account, the digital platform will instead enable patients to book routine appointments and review prescribed medicines.
Announced by Wellbeing Minister Gaétan Barrette, he has explained that the booklet will be “consumer-pleasant, straightforward-to-use and safe software that may permit Quebecers to raised handle their wellbeing and contribute extra to the success of the remedies provided to them.”
“I’m satisfied that the general public and wellbeing professionals will see the constructive results of this new service,” he added.
Costing over $10mn, the system will be expensive to maintain, but provide greater rewards to patients.
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However, there has been fierce criticism from the Archivists’ Association, who were not bought in to discuss or support the implementation of the digital system.
Concerns have been raised surrounding the significant gaps which will be apparent in patients’ digital records as many will not be fully digitised. Such a small time frame to get the system up and running also looks increasingly unrealistic. Additionally, a lack of medical knowledge is bound to make many patients anxious of what may be recorded.
“For someone who is not that knowledgeable about medical aspects, if they read that their white-blood cell count is high, they might go on Wikipedia to get additional information and they could get confused,” added Alexandre Allard, President of the Archivists’ Association.
However, Barrette has noted that a 30-day delay will be implemented surrounding the upload of data which may cause increased concern, and will reach doctors first hand who will be able to discuss any concerns with patients at the first instance.
On the rise: Doktor.se
1. Doktor.se launches as a digital healthcare platform in Sweden in 2016. The company's focus is on the B2B market, with a mission to help members find, book and get access to healthcare services through telehealth and telephone calls.
2. The company offers healthcare services through its app as well as at bricks and mortar clinics. After raising more than €40 million in a funding round in May 2020 to expand its operations both nationally and overseas, CEO and founder Martin Lindman says there are plans to enter new markets at the beginning of 2021.
3. Belgium becomes the fifth market where Doktor.se provides telemedicine, through Belgium's communications company Proximus Group. It becomes the second most downloaded doctor app in Europe, and over 1.2 million patient consultations are carried out, either through the app or at physical clinics in Sweden. Throughout 2020 it administers over 250,000 COVID-19 antibody tests in Sweden.
4. Doktor.se is the most popular digital healthcare in Sweden, used by approximately one-tenth of the country's population. New funds are raised to offer improved services for mental health and chronic illnesses, and to expand digital services and acquire physical services to integrate into its digital platforms with the aim of creating a hybrid model.
5. The company announces €29.5 million in funding from Chinese technology multinational Tencent Holdings. Doktor.se say the funds will be used to make its global healthcare services more efficient, accessible and affordable.
The platform now employs nurses, doctors and specialist doctors, psychologists, and physiotherapists, and is available across Europe and in Brazil.
6. Over 1.5 million people are currently using healthcare apps developed by Doktor.se, either run by the company or through its SaaS licensing business. There are around 900 people employed by the company, and Doktor.se say that the productivity of medical staff using the platform is up to four times greater than those working in traditional services.