Lifestyle

There’s a Canadian Doctor in your Pocket named Akira

Whether it’s for the kids or myself, the moment I realize that I need a doctor’s advice can be compared to a moment of doom. Clouds appear and sorrowful music plays – not necessarily for the ailment, but for the process in getting that advice! It’s happened before and you know it’ll happen again – it’s something to dread. 

Seeking advice from a medical professional usually leads to a lot of frustration and disappointment. Getting an appointment with a regular physician, even a brief one, could take weeks. 

We Canadians also have a choice on utilizing walk-in appointments but that again comes with a massive wait-time or it may not even be an option at all if it’s beyond the hours of access. We do have health lines, which is a great Nursing assessment program to have in place, yet it’s there to mainly inform you if indeed you need to seek a doctor immediately. These health lines cannot diagnose, treat or prescribe any medication.

intro_careteam

Lastly you have emergent walk-in care at the hospital, but that is equally difficult because of the significant wait time. In other words, you have to prepare to be there for most of the day. Like we got time for that!

Added to the stress is factoring in the other million commitments in life {such as appointments, work and activities} which also need undivided attention. Oh, and then there’s the people you share your life with – raise your hands if you’d love to spend 5 hours in a waiting room with 3 kids! Nope.

Any way you look at it, needing that medical advice that involves diagnosing, treating and next step answers – always comes at the most inconvenient time. It’s even worse for those in rural areas, I hear far too many stories of conditions worsening due to lack of convenient access and waiting for scheduled appointments or testing. 

I think this issue becomes more apparent once you have children, parents don’t leave much to chance when it comes to their kids. So the pitfalls of the Canadian health care system is something we painfully endure because sometimes we really need that advice and direction, if only to get the nagging ‘what ifs’ off your back.

But wait, there’s another new option and it’s a game changer!

There’s a Canadian Doctor in your Pocket named Akira

I repeat – named Akira – not Google. Please, do not rely on Google for medical advice. I think we’ve all been there and were easily convinced that we were dying.

Akira is an app that gives you on-demand access to a team of Canadian doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses trained in family medicine. Not only can you speak with an actual medical professional and get that expert advice as needed, but with Akira you can also get prescriptions, lab tests, and specialist referrals. You can even use it when out of the country! 

akira doctor in your pocket

To use, simply open the Akira app and messenger immediately comes up where you can text a member of the care team – and get a response within minutes.

While this App is currently only available for Ontario residents {read on for good news for the rest of Canadians}, I did recently have the chance to ‘pose’ as an Ontarian just so I could test out Akira for myself. I spoke with a member of the care team about some concerns I had with my daughter and a recent cold and her suffering from headaches for a great deal of time.

Chatting with the care team was very similar to sitting in a doctor’s office, all the right questions were asked {for example, ruling out eye strain, which we did}. The process was comforting and seamless, with an end result that I am very happy with. Best of all, I got these answers and advice from the comforts of home, no wait time or travel required. 

akira doctor in your pocket

With the Akira app, you can also send photos if necessary, which greatly helps the medical care team with your concern. I recall a time when I had to take one of my babies {well, 3 kids actually since again, we travel in packs} for medical advice for what I assumed was a heat rash, but was in fact, Scarlet Fever. YES! So being able to send photos or video that easily in order to get complete care, is so fantastic. 

The Akira app is available for both iOS and Android phones, and like I said, currently only available to those in Ontario. The great news for all Canadians is that Akira is expanding and plans to be available to all of Canada within the next few months. 

nurse

The service currently isn’t covered by health care, but convenient membership plans offering unlimited family access are available for as low as $20/month when you pay for an annual plan. Memberships include access for you, a partner and unlimited children. So given the great benefits and convenience of the service, it really is a small price to pay. 

Use the coupon code ‘MOMSROCK and save 10% off any Akira membership plan.

Right now over 10,000 Canadians have downloaded Akira and are skipping the waiting room, those whom aren’t in Ontario can be placed on a mailing list to be notified when the expansion becomes official. I’m on it! 

 

Disclosure: This is a compensated post, yet as always, all opinions are my own.

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26 Comments

  1. Wow I had never heard of this, this will be a brilliant app for my daughters when they have concerns about the little ones!

  2. I do think there is a need for it all over Canada. Would be wonderful if it would be cover by health care.

  3. Oh I wish this was available in Alberta, you can’t even get a refill prescription without seeing your doctor so if you run out and it’s a 3 week wait to get in , too bad you are out of luck!! Our health care system is sad, after being in it for a few years I can say it blows and is a fraction of what it sed to be and the new doctors don’t even touch you they look at their laptops and send you to a specialist, another 6 month to a year wait and they don’t touch you either just order tests, and if it shows nothing another 6 to a year wait for a specialist, it’s been two years and on the 26th I am on my 3rd specialist!

  4. Never heard of this but I’m sure I could use it! You have no idea how often I have googled medical issues and you’re right, it can be quite terrifying!

  5. Something like this would be great! I like the access to a doctor so easily. Sometimes when you’re really sick you just don’t want to go anywhere.

  6. This is such a convenient and smart service. Who has time to wait for an appointment and then wait in the office while the doctor is back up with patients. Ugh.

  7. Oh my goodness, I wish I lived in CA because this has to be one of the coolest things ever. I love that they offer something so easy to use. Thanks so much for the info

  8. Long wait times to see a doctor are no fun. I sometimes just don’t go because of time, when I really need to. This app sounds like a fantastic option.

  9. This is great to have! It’s always nice that you don’t have to go right to the doctor. You don’t always have time to go, so talking to someone from home or on the go is great.

  10. I really hate going to the doctor for simple ailments so this is really appealing.

  11. Thanks for the great coupon code. I will have to give Akira a try the next time one of us is sick. I hate to drag a sick kid to the Doctors if I do not have to.

  12. Akira sounds like a great way to get a Doctors advice in a pinch. It is nice to know this is a option if I can not get into see my Doctor.

  13. Something like this would be great! I like the easy access to a doctor! Love it!

  14. I would love to try this out. I feel like I have so many questions and always forget by the time I actually get to my doctor!

  15. This seems like a cool app! I agree- people should not ask “Dr Google” for any medical advice because they will be convinced they are dying lol

  16. This is so awesome! I hate taking my kids to the office and exposing them to extra germs unless I have to!

  17. This would be great to have! Unfortunately, it is not available in my area yet, adding myself to the list!

  18. This is really neat, I never knew this existed. I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want this.

  19. I really like how quickly you have access to medical help with this app. What a fabulous new helper!

  20. This is truly such a wonderful service for parents with small kids –when you have littles at home who are sick this is exactly the kind of doctor access you PRAY FOR as a parent! Thanks for the Intel!

  21. I have a chronic health condition so having a doctor be available for me is very important to me. I have been very interested in these pocket doctors I keep hearing about! I’m going to have to look into this more!

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