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Majority of Canadians agree virtual care is the future of healthcare
[November 19, 2020]

Majority of Canadians agree virtual care is the future of healthcare

Research sponsored by Dialogue, conducted by Environics Research reveals Canadians' current perceptions about the growing telemedicine industry

MONTREAL, Nov. 19, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the Canadian Attitudes on Healthcare and Telemedicine Report, 70% of Canadians believe virtual care represents the future. The research was sponsored by Canadian virtual healthcare leader Dialogue and conducted by Environics Research to understand Canadians' attitudes toward healthcare and telemedicine. The report reveals that demand for more convenient virtual care services is on the rise, with nearly half of respondents (46%) stating COVID-19 has made it more difficult to access healthcare.

Other key findings from the research include:

  • While the majority of Canadians have access to a family physician, 46% say it would take more than 4 days to see a healthcare professional for a minor health concern and 22% say it would take more than a week.
  • When choosing a potential virtual care platform, the fllowing 5 key attributes accounted for 76% of the decision-making process:
    • Accessibility (strong preference for availability through an employer or organizational benefit plan)
    • How the appointment is conducted (strong preference for patient choice between phone, video, text or chat)
    • Appointment timing (strong preference for allowing a patient to schedule based on their availability)
    • Mental health support (strong preference for programs that offer mental health support through general practitioners or mental health specialists)
    • Follow-ups (strong preference for post-consultation follow-ups by a healthcare professional to ensure treatment success)
  • An overwhelming majority of working Canadians (82%) agree their employer should provide access to virtual healthcare
  • Two-thirds of Canadians (66%) report they would be likely to use virtual healthcare if it was available through their benefits plan.
  • 75% of Canadians indicated that they would prefer to consult with the right medical professional for their specific issue (whether a nurse, doctor, mental health specialist, etc.) versus a more general practitioner.

"Keeping employees safe and providing the appropriate care for their teams is expected from employers now more than ever. Employers are recognizing that providing employees with access to quality health and well-being resources has a direct connection to workplace productivity as well as the overall health of their business. This report confirms that while Canadians are increasingly ready for telemedicine, they also have strong viewpoints and preferences on what they expect in their virtual care experience." - Jeff Gladwish, Vice-President of Marketing at Dialogue

The full report can be accessed here

About the Canadian Attitudes on Healthcare and Telemedicine Report
The survey was conducted to understand Canadians' attitudes toward healthcare and telemedicine. The research was sponsored by Dialogue, however, the sponsor of the research was not shared with respondents, ensuring unbiased data collection.

From September 14th to 21st 2020, Environics surveyed 1,514 Canadians spanning all age groups and provinces (excluding Yukon, Nunavut and the NWT).

This is the first in a planned series of annual reports exploring Canadians' perceptions and opinions about telehealth and telemedicine.

About Environics Research
Environics Research is a Canadian polling and market research firm based in Toronto. Their unique understanding of motivations, attitudes and behaviours allows them to work with clients and has helped them form actionable solutions to market questions and problems since 1970.

About Dialogue Technologies Inc.
Dialogue is the leading Canadian virtual care provider pioneering online healthcare services dedicated exclusively to organizations who wish to improve the health and well-being of their members and families. Dialogue's innovative and convenient health and wellness platform provides access to a variety of quality services including primary care, mental health and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources to millions of Canadians, offering a multidisciplinary approach and continuity of care. 

SOURCE Dialogue Technologies Inc.

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