I often joke that if you search through my browser history… you will be mortified.
Look, it’s not that I have extraordinarily strange or off-the-cuff search terms; it’s just that I search health-related subjects – you know, those pertaining to symptoms and/or side effects – here and there. Okay, frequently. Fine, ALL THE TIME.
You too? Fellow hypochondriacs, I may have found the answer.
It’s no secret that more and more Canadians rely on “Dr. Google” for health advice. We want information – fast – and we don’t always have the time to wait in a doctor’s office for, ahem, professional advice.
Notice that I italicized professional advice? That’s because there’s a clear difference between seeing a qualified doctor vs. an internet search; Dr. Google does not diagnose – he simply leads you down a dark path where 80% of the time, your symptoms point to cancer. I know, I’ve been there, too.
But *why* do we put so much faith in random information online? It’s quite simple – we are short on time, short on patience, and when we want our questions answered (especially those related to our health), we want the information at our fingertips. But did you know that 50-70% of diagnoses do not require a hands-on physical examination? Using telemedicine, doctors are already safely and effectively treating millions of patients around the world for common medical conditions, including: 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, and many more, as well as providing sick notes and prescribing medications online as necessary.
That’s why I want to introduce you to Maple.
Maple allows people to see a physician online within minutes, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, anytime, anywhere. You can skip the crowded waiting room, the need to take a day off, and most importantly, the dreaded online search, when you need to see a doctor. Whether you require a prescription, sick note, or a diagnosis for your symptoms, you can use Maple to request an online medical consultation with a Canadian licensed physician.
Currently, Maple is available in Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island, Canada. If you are a resident of these provinces, you can use Maple from anywhere, including when you’re out of the country. (If you are a visitor to either of these provinces, you can use Maple during your stay in the province.) Since I travel with my family frequently, I appreciate the peace of mind that I’ll always have a doctor on call to answer my questions.
Now it’s important to note that Maple is a complement to the current care delivery system, not a substitute. Yes, you’ll still need to see a doctor in person if your leg is broken! However, through secure video, audio or text chat, physicians can privately consult with patients, diagnose symptoms and write prescriptions and sick notes. And by helping move suitable primary care visits out of hospitals and into the community, Maple helps reduce strain on busy and over-crowded ERs and clinics, while offering patients a convenient and comfortable alternative to physical care facilities.
So here’s the deal. You may have more questions, and here’s a handy list of FAQ’s. I can probably answer your most burning question: there is a fee to use Maple. Their services are not covered by provincial health plans, but when you need to see a doctor on Maple, they offer simple pay-per-visit pricing:
$49 weekdays 8am to midnight ET
$79 weekends 8am to midnight ET
$99 midnight to 7:59am ET
In addition, they offer annual memberships that give you access to unlimited visits, so you can enjoy the peace of mind of having a doctor on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The pricing is $359/year for Personal Memberships (unlimited visits for you) or $579/year for Family Memberships (unlimited visits for you and all of your family members).
Less than $50 per month to have a doctor on call for your entire family, every day for the entire year? You know what I’m interested in.
This is my introduction. I’m trying Maple as we speak, and I’ll be able to report back within the month to tell you about my experience. In the meantime, if your Google search is similarly filled with hypochondriacal tendencies, perhaps it’s time to get Maple.
Want $25 off your first Maple consultation or membership? Just for my readers, register with Maple (no obligation to purchase a consultation) and you’ll automatically receive a $25 credit. Click here.
I have been provided with a complimentary family membership to Maple in order to review the service. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.