Digital health platforms partner to provide further healthcare access for new parents in Canada

Koble, a digital health and well-being platform for expecting and new parents, is partnering with Maple, a virtual care platform that provides on-demand access to healthcare providers.

Koble’s mobile health app supports families going through planning, pregnancy, postpartum, and return-to-work following parental leave, and provides parents with personalized guidance as they grow their family.

Maple’s platform allows patients to connect directly with doctors and specialists for medical care in minutes from their smartphone or computer, 24/7, and also provides custom technology solutions for employers, insurers, hospitals, and clinics.

Through the partnership, Koble’s healthcare services will be available to Maple’s community at a 25 per cent discounted rate. Additionally, Maple members will now have access to Koble’s evidence-based resources, developed and curated by its clinical team.

“One of the unique factors of this app is that we’re inclusive and we also are longitudinal, providing that support, not just from one type of health care professional, but from the multiple interdisciplinary healthcare professionals that people need during this journey,” said Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, chief medical officer of Koble and an obstetrician-gynecologist. 

Dr. Yolanda Kirkham

The collaboration is Koble’s largest partnership to date, and it aims to provide more Canadians with access to healthcare.

“Virtual care has increased exponentially…As a gynecologist, I’ve seen immediate postpartum patients in the emergency room, and that’s not the most welcoming place for them with a new baby. So sometimes there are some conditions that may not need an emergency room visit or a wait of several hours. Having that access to sort out whether they need to go to an emergency room can be helpful, and they can get that kind of immediate care from virtual healthcare,” Kirkham said. 

Additionally, Koble’s resources will ensure new parents are getting the right information from a reliable source.

“Knowledge translation is very important. And there are all these medical facts that we know, but they’re not sometimes easily accessible to people. So making sure that all of our health professionals provide both clinically and evidence-based information is important.”

The partnership will also ensure that new parents in rural areas across Canada, and those who don’t have access to a family doctor, get the resources they need. 

“When we talk about healthcare access in rural and urban areas, that differs dramatically. You may not have access to the same types of specialists. And then also the lack of a family doctor. The family doctor is such an important person in postpartum care, for example, and a lot of people don’t have a family doctor.”

Kirkham said family doctors are excellent for postpartum care because they look after the mother and also the baby, while being skilled in all sorts of diagnoses. However, those without access to a family doctor can have access to virtual care easily with Koble and Maple.

Many parents leave the hospital with their newborn child with minimal direction or understanding of the ongoing support they’ll need, she observed. Feelings of being overwhelmed, and of isolation can also affect the mental health of new parents. But tele-health platforms and virtual health care have made it much easier and less stressful for new parents to get the information they need.

“I feel like the pandemic really has helped to expedite what was needed, which is more accessibility and virtual care. Just seeing all the number of patients that are so grateful that they don’t have to drive a long distance to see someone, or have access to someone they might not have in their care community, is rewarding. And certainly, it is a hope of doctors that the government will just continue to support it because it improves people’s productivity, not having to miss work or if they have a small child, finding childcare and such,” she added.

Maple members can register here for Koble. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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