Medimap aims to make health care more convenient and accessible, allowing patients to find nearby medical appointments quickly and easily.
Almost five million Canadians aged 12 and older don’t have a primary care provider, according to the Canadian Medical Association. Because they must rely on walk-in medical clinics for their primary care needs, these clinics can have long and unpredictable wait times, even having to turn patients away due to a lack of available appointments. Many Canadians end up going to their local emergency department for conditions that could be addressed in their community.
Medimap was created to solve this challenge. “If you have easy access to information on where you can find care in your community, it’s going to create a much better patient experience and a more streamlined process, and the health care system will be able to use available resources more efficiently,” says Blake Adam, CEO of Medimap.
Choose between in-person or virtual visits with a local provider
Walk-in clinics use Medimap software to update their estimated waits in real time. Patients can then visit the website to enter in their location, see a list of nearby clinics and their estimated wait times, and then check in online. They can also choose to find clinics that are doing in-person or virtual visits.
“We’re focused on helping people when they need it most, to save them some time and frustration when they’re feeling sick or are worried about their child who’s feeling sick,” says Adam.
Helping people find local care is also key, Adam says. While the COVID-19 pandemic led to an explosion of virtual care options for patients, Adam points out that virtual care isn’t appropriate for every condition. “With some virtual care options, you may be speaking with a provider who’s outside of your community,” he says. “Being able to see a provider in your community is important, even if you choose virtual care. If it turns out that you do need to see them in person, you have the option of seeing that same person. Also, the provider will know your community and have relationships with other providers if they need to refer you.”
Digital tool fosters better patient access
More than 70 percent of walk-in medical clinics across Canada use the Medimap platform to publish their wait times and 1 in 10 Canadians have used the service to find a local walk-in clinic. The company plans to add service providers such as physiotherapists, optometrists, and dietitians so that users can have a more holistic menu of services and available appointments in their community.
Adam created Medimap because he didn’t have a family doctor. “I would search online for clinics near me and be calling clinics to find out if they had openings. It just seemed crazy to me that there was no easy way to look up real-time availability of walk-in clinics in your community,” he says. “This seemed like a really simple solution to the frustrations that a lot of people face across the country and a way to help make health care more convenient and accessible.”