New smartphone app gives Albertans access to virtual health care during COVID-19 pandemic
Babylon mobile app allows you to check symptoms, consult with doctors.
CBC News Calgary March 19, 2020
Albertans are being offered a new tool for getting medical advice without having to go to a doctor’s office — an option that’s suddenly become more desirable amid the COVID-19 emergency.
Babylon is a free downloadable app developed by Telus Health that lets Albertans meet with licensed physicians in one-on-one video consultations through their smartphone. Download from the Apple App Store or ▶︎ Google Play.
The app can be used to check symptoms — including those of COVID-19 — book appointments, see a doctor and get prescriptions and referrals, all covered under Alberta’s public health-care insurance.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro says the joint initiative with Telus Health comes at a time when the health system is asking people to self-isolate as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Using this app is an alternative to visiting physicians face-to-face when you’re not sure if your symptoms are related to the novel coronavirus or at any other time,” he said.
The service is already being offered in British Columbia.
Source CBC News Calgary
Safety of patient-facing digital symptom checkers, Hamish Fraser, Enrico Coierab, David Wong. The Lancet. Volume 392, Issue 10161, 24–30 November 2018, Pages 2263-2264. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32819-8. PDF
Building your Babylon, Ron Bridges MD and Paul C Adams MD FRCPC Editor-in-Chief. Can J Gastroenterol. 2008 Mar; 22(3): 233–235. PDF
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