Coronavirus: App lets Albertans meet with doctors through their smartphones

The Alberta government announced an app Thursday that gives people the option of connecting with their physician using an app on their phone.

It was launched as a new tool for Albertans to access health-care information and support in response to COVID-19 from anywhere in the province.

Residents can use the service to check symptoms, book appointments, see a doctor and get prescriptions and referrals for diagnostic imaging and specialists, and it’s all covered by Alberta Health Care, the government said in a news release.

Babylon by TELUS Health is a service already available in B.C. using a free downloadable app.

“Alberta is pleased to partner with TELUS to deliver physician services in a new way,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said.

“This app is now available and ready for use in Alberta thanks to an alternative relationship plan, and it comes at a time when our health system is actively asking people to self-isolate as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Using this app is an alternative to visiting physicians face-to-face when you’re not sure if your symptoms are related to the novel coronavirus or at any other time,” Shandro said.

Alberta doctors have been urging the province to support alternative ways physicians can meet with patients during the pandemic.

TELUS pointed out that the tool means anyone — no matter where they live — can access virtual health care.

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