House Calls
Reader's Digest Canada|May 2021
Virtual appointments are convenient and safe—but are they effective?
Luc Rinaldi

LAST YEAR, COVID-19 forced much of our lives online: work meetings migrated to Zoom, quarantines replaced in-person happy hours. Medicine was no exception. In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, governments worldwide instructed their citizens to stay home when possible and avoid non-essential outings, including trips to hospitals and doctors’ offices. So, patients swapped in-person appointments for phone calls and video chats. Google searches for telehealth spiked. Before the pandemic, just one in 10 Canadians had used telehealth; by last May, half of them had.

To meet the increasing demand, North American and European governments, hospitals and private businesses have invested billions of dollars in new and existing virtual care services. The Canadian federal government, for one, earmarked $13.4 million for a trio of telehealth companies and a digital health “innovation hub,” while Loblaw Companies Ltd. invested $75 million in Maple, an app that facilitates online doctor consultations. As a result, hundreds of Shoppers Drug Mart stores are now outfitted with iPads that provide customers a direct link to Maple physicians.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM READER'S DIGEST CANADAView All

News from the WORLD OF MEDICINE

EXERCISE PROTECTS THE DECLINING BRAIN

4 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
May 2021

“ARE YOU READY?

EVERY SECOND MATTERED AS A TEAM OF SURGEONS RACED TO REPLACE SIX VITAL ORGANS IN TWO PATIENTS

10 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
May 2021

Why Do You Ask if I Was a Neurotic Kid?

DESPITE REASSURING FRIENDS and strangers that I had loving parents and a stable upbringing, I’m often asked if I was a neurotic kid. My immediate response is always “No! Why would you even think that?”

2 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
May 2021

The Wolf Who Trusted Too Much

Takaya roamed B.C.’s coastline with little fear that a human would harm him—until one did

9 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
May 2021

How Can Canada Be More Accessible?

We quiz Jewelles Smith, disability activist

2 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
May 2021

House Calls

Virtual appointments are convenient and safe—but are they effective?

4 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
May 2021

Good Brew

How an Ottawa kombucha maker helps people recovering from addiction

2 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
May 2021

GOOD NEWS Five Reasons to smile

A SECOND LIFE FOR CHOPSTICKS

4 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
May 2021

Character Studies

In lockdown, Mom and I were able to move past our clashing personalities and connect

6 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
May 2021

A WORLD OF WORRY

Compounding crises have made everyone anxious, but how do you know if you’ve slipped into a more serious disorder—and what do you do about it?

9 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
May 2021