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A startup from Montreal, wants to democratize the access to telemedicine


Alain Castonguay

21 July 2017 07:00

Photo : Freepik

Having access to a doctor through his phone for a consultation, using the camera as necessary ? The technology permits and the montréal-based company Dialogue Technology offers this virtual platform to businesses.

Cherif Habib, co-founder and CEO of Dialogue, has big ambitions for his firm, which aims to facilitate the access of employees to health professionals. In addition to having founded companies EMCision and CESIUM, he has also worked for McKinsey for three years.

Telemedicine is gaining increasing interest, and the various tests conducted throughout the world confirm that passion. The financial group, chinese Ping an offers telemedicine services. Just launched, the system has quickly surpassed the 100,000 virtual consultations per day.

Thanks to the platform of Dialogue, the consultation with the professional can be done through a «chat» or video-conferencing through the phone or the computer. The doctor can send the prescription directly to the pharmacy designated by the subscriber. The patient has access to the secure folder in the app, offered on iOS and Android since October 24, 2016.

Some 30 companies are already clients of Dialogue. Twenty of them, with 5, 000 employees, contributed financially to the design of the platform. Mr Habib hopes to announce shortly, agreements with insurers and brokers to expand its customer base.

The rate of growth of the industry, telemedicine is 49% per year, said the CEO of Dialogue, at the conference InsurTech Quebec, in April. According to Mr. Habib, patients, physicians and the makers diet. Many insurers of group plans offer telemedicine in their health insurance coverage.

In Dialogue, like a hospital, triage is done by a nurse. The paramedical care provided is reimbursed by the insurer of the group plan, but the nursing and medical care are paid directly by the employer.

The platform is already available to businesses in Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia. Mr. Habib expects that the implementation will be completed by the end of the summer in Alberta and in the rest of Canada by the end of 2017.

Approximately 40 health professionals have already signed an agreement with Dialog, general medicine, dermatology, pediatrics, psychiatry and psychology, nursing, etc, «It is necessary to hire the best, because the remote service is demanding,» says Mr Habib.

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