Adoption of telemedicine platforms could save governments up to $1 billion per year By 2025: Dialogue & Sun Life

Dialogue Health Technologies Inc. Canada’s premier health and wellness virtual healthcare platform and Sun Life Financial Inc. co-sponsored a report analyzing the economic impacts associated with Dialogue’s telemedicine adoption in Canada’s healthcare system. The Economic Impact of Telemedicine in Canada report, compiled by AppEco, evaluates the net benefits that Dialogue and Lumino Health Virtual Care offer to Canadian governments, employers and patients.

The report underlines the historical growth and continued adoption of telemedicine services in Canada.

The report reveals that increased adoption of telemedicine platforms Lumino Health Virtual Care, powered by Dialogue, directly translate into cost and strain reduction on Canada’s healthcare system. The study was conducted specifically on Dialogue and Lumino Health Virtual Care’s operating models, which allow employers to invest in the health and well-being of employees; consultations are never charged to provincial governments.

For example, on average, a visit to the emergency department in Canada costs the public healthcare system $202 while a visit to a doctor’s office or clinic costs $44 per consultation. Economic modelling suggests that telemedicine platforms, such as Dialogue and Lumino Health Virtual Care, save the Canadian healthcare system $52 on average for every consultation that would have otherwise taken place through standard public care.

As telemedicine adoption rates continue to rise, it is estimated that by 2025 platforms like Dialogue could save governments up to $1 billion per year.

The Economic Impact of Telemedicine in Canada report also addresses the economic benefits to Canadian employers that adopt telemedicine platforms like Dialogue and Lumino Health Virtual Care. Companies that offer Dialogue telemedicine as part of their group benefits see on average a 32% Return on Investment (ROI), which considers productivity lost to employee transportation, waiting times, net cost of service and other factors associated with in-person care.

Dialogue and Sun Life co-sponsored this study to evaluate the economic benefits of corporate paid virtual care for governments, employers and employees.

Methodology

Net benefits were derived based on direct reduction of public payments to physicians and emergency rooms operations, reduced absenteeism from work (transportation and wait times), the average cost of a teleconsultation for employers, and cost savings for the patients from avoided transportation.

Cost estimates were based on official data sources such as the Canadian Institute for Health Information and Statistics Canada, as well as economic literature, and government publications.  Calculations were done on the basis of one teleconsultation that would have otherwise taken place at a clinic, at the emergency department, or that would not have occurred. These three possibilities were then averaged based on their respective likelihood as documented in the literature. As such, the estimates take into account the share of teleconsultations that represents new utilization, in addition to the share that constitutes substitutions.

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