When my youngest child was little we were at the doctor’s office at least once a week. Yep, you got it. Good thing I didn’t work full time, because visiting the pediatrician’s office was nearly a full time job. The worst was when he’d get sick on weekends and we’d have to spend hours at the walk-in clinic. You see, he had chronic ear infections. Just as soon as he’d get better and be finished one course of antibiotics, the pain and inflammation would start again, and off we’d go.
Starting at 9 months, he had 7 sets of ear tubes before he was 7 plus separate adenoid and tonsil surgeries. Imagine that poor kid going through that, and me too.
Never mind any aches and pains and bugs his older siblings would come down with as well.
Since most of the time Dr. Mom knew what was wrong, we wasted a whole lot of time in waiting rooms that could have been better spent doing just about anything else.
Recently a new telemedicine service called Maple launched that would have made our lives a whole lot easier. Maple is a web-based platform that connects patients with Canadian-licensed doctors in a matter of minutes. It’s literally great medical care from the comfort of your own home. For parents like I was—or really all parents—it’s like a dream come true. Currently available in Ontario, and soon all of Canada, you can see a doctor via secure video, audio, or text chat.
Imagine dialing in from your computer and having a private consult, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day (because we all know that kids don’t always get sick during office hours!). The services include diagnosis of symptoms, prescriptions, and the writing of sick notes. And it’s so easy to use. You just sign up here for an account from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device, and then when you need it, log on via your computer—the app is coming soon—and get connected to a doctor. Plus, with Maple’s collaboration with PopRx, you can even get prescriptions delivered right to your home.
Why do I think Maple is so great? Let me count the ways:
- No more sitting in germ-filled waiting rooms with a screaming kid or whiny myself
- I can consult with a doctor on my time, when it suits my schedule
- I can get prescriptions fast for things that don’t really require a doctor’s visit like my vicious cold sores, refills, or lady problems
- My medical history, prescriptions, sick notes, and doctors instructions are completely secure and private and everything is recorded and always available to me should I need to refer to it
I can guess your next questions…
How can a doctor diagnose over the internet? Telemedicine (providing healthcare using interactive text, audio and video technology where doctor and patient aren’t in the same physical location) isn’t a new thing, just new-ish to us Canadians. In fact, Telemedicine is the norm in countries around the world including the UK and the United States. Telehealth providers around the world provide a wide range of care and has been shown to result in fewer follow-up visits vs traditional care.
I’ve got _____. Can I call Maple? First of all, and something I didn’t know, according to Maple 50-70% of diagnoses don’t require a physical exam. Common conditions that can be effectively diagnosed and treated include eye and ear infections, cold and flu, urinary tract infections, allergic reactions, skin issues and rashes, vomiting and diarrhea, sexual health issues, mental health concerns, sick notes and medication prescriptions.
How does it work?
- Register for a free account
- Once registered, sign in from your computer and click the ‘see a doctor now’ button
- Describe your symptoms/concerns and submit the consultation request
- Be connected within minutes, after the doctor has reviewed your request
- Use the option of video chat, text chat, or photo share with the doctor. The doctor will spend as much time as you need to provide a safe, effective, and accurate diagnosis, care instructions, or sick note
Is Maple covered under my provincial healthcare plan?
Currently online care is not covered by most plans including OHIP so patients must cover the fee for the doctor’s time. The fee varies depending on the time of day and day of the week. Memberships for both families and individuals are available. If convenience, having access to a doctor at all hours, and having all your medical records stored in one place is what you’re looking for, then it’s totally worth it.
What do you think? Will you try Maple? Use this code to get $25 off your first Maple experience.
Note: I was provided with a Maple membership and compensation so that I could share this information with you in an educated way. All opinions are my own.