Canada’s largest private health insurance provider, Manulife Financial and California-based digital health care provider, Akira Health, announced a partnership to provide Canadians with on-demand, virtual 24-7 anywhere anytime medical consultations with clinicians. Services are available in both English and French.
The Akira app builds upon services offered both in the public healthcare system and through an individual’s health benefits plan. In addition to providing general health counselling, Akira clinicians can diagnose, write and renew prescriptions, and provide referrals to specialists, labs, and imaging centres.
The Canadian website cites “eye problems” as being within the scope of services.
When asked about online refraction, an Akira spokesperson indicated, “unfortunately, we can’t do refraction through the app, as that’s a test that can’t be done virtually”, implying that it if online refraction were available it might be added to the solution.
The Akira primary care team is made up mostly of Nurse Practitioners and Registered Nurses, as well as some MDs. The team does not include optometrists, according to the company.
“Virtual healthcare is growing at a fast pace in Canada and will soon be the new standard for employers,” said Dan Pawliw, co-founder of Akira. “We have worked hard to develop this solution and are proud to provide the highest level of service in the virtual healthcare space.”
The new service is consistent with Manulife’s mission to make lives better and decisions easier for Canadians according to Donna Carbell, Head of Group Benefits for Manulife Canada.