On Trend: COVID-19 may mark a tipping point for virtual care

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HEALTHY RETURNS: A new breed of health clinic mixes a storefront and virtual presence

These B.C. companies are capitalizing on the shift to digitally enabled health services

When Vancouver corporate flagship Telus bought Montreal-based Emergis in 2007, the latter’s electronic medical records (EMR) business presented an intriguing growth proposition: a platform to spearhead the digitization of patient files across Canada. Telus Health is now the country’s leading EMR provider, with 1,800 employees and relationships with 94,000 practitioners.

? SAY “AHA!”

If the medical profession has been slow to adopt virtual care, COVID-19 provided the push its proponents needed. Kelowna-based QHR Technologies, acquired by Loblaws in 2016 for $170 million, runs Canada’s largest single EMR platform, Accuro EMR. Next, through a partnership with federally funded nonprofit Canada Health Infoway, Accuro EMR will incorporate e-prescriptions across its parent company’s Shoppers Drug Mart network.


With its 2019 purchase of Kai Innovations, Vancouver-headquartered Well Health Technologies moved up to No. 3 among Canadian EMR providers, complemented by 20 bricks-and-mortar clinics and a telehealth division. Likewise, Vancouver’s CloudMD combines an EMR platform used by 376 clinics and almost 3 million registered patients with its own clinics, scheduling and billing software, and an online patient portal.