In Vancouver yesterday, Telus Health (the healthcare division of national telco Telus) and British digital healthcare provider Babylon Health announced the launch of Babylon by Telus Health, an virtual healthcare app that will allow users to do things like check symptoms and talk to a doctor on their smartphones.

According to Telus, more than 50 per cent of Canadians have a hard time finding after-hours health care without visiting an emergency room. With a focus on servicing people in rural communities, people with mobility issues and the five million Canadians without a family doctor, the mobile app’s video consultation feature gives patients virtual facetime with with fully licensed doctors.

While the video chat feature will only be available to B.C. residents at launch, (which is still to be determined), the app’s AI-driven ‘Symptom Checker’ will be available for everyone. The feature, which was created with the help of doctors, allows users to answer a series of questions with a chat bot to help them determine causes or treatment options.

Additionally, the app will allow patients to manage their prescriptions, request referrals to specialists and give patients access to their treatment history and doctor’s notes.

“Together, we are not only helping to improve the options Canadians have for accessing healthcare, but also providing them with a digital tool that makes communicating with healthcare professionals more efficient,” said Juggy Sihota, vice president, Telus Health.

The app will be available on iOS and Android, and in English, with a French version to be released later this year.

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