Can these kiosks help fix Canada’s broken walk-in clinic system?

Local telehealth company UniDoc has its heart set on connecting patients to doctors.

Credit: The Market Herald. UniDoc’s H3 Health Cube

Local telehealth company UniDoc has its heart set on connecting patients to doctors

The COVID-19 pandemic may have helped open the door to virtual health care, but it‘s been a mixed blessing. Across the country, people are still struggling to find a doctor after clinics limited in-person visits and shifted to remote access.

To help solve that problem, Vancouver-based telehealth startup UniDoc Health is developing the H3 Health Cube, a kiosk that functions as a private, round-the-clock virtual clinic where patients can meet with physicians.

One of several models at the advanced stage, this unit would ideally mean no more calls or visits to the walk-in clinic only to find that they’re full, closed or unavailable for the next two weeks.   

READ MORE: B.C. 2.0: Doctors and patients learn that there’s no place like home 

“As the year progresses, we look forward to introducing several additional configurations and option packages designed to extend the utility and functionality of our Virtual Care Solution Model,” CEO Antonio Baldassarre said in a release. “This new product was designed to specifically address several gaps in the marketplace for diagnostic procedures that require moderate assistance, such as accomplishing an electrocardiogram (ECG), which requires precise placement of the test leads.”  

The H3 model has been prototyped, with pilot field studies on the horizon, UniDoc says. Like an ATM, the kiosk is designed to operate independently for the most part. However, certain uses could require a trained technician onsite to help practitioners and patients.

Designed for locations like hospitals, care centres, pharmacies, grocery stores and community centres, the H3 Health Cube sanitizes itself after each use. Its features include modular expandability, adjustable lighting, climate control and enclosure designs suitable for indoors and outdoors. 

The kiosk meets the Americans With Disabilities Act’s Standards for Accessible Design, Baldassarre said. “It’s also a product that will readily support anyone who may be computer-challenged, such as children or elderly patients, and where assistance is required to at least start the process. Our goal is to improve preventative and immediate assessment through increased access.”