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Volume 17, Number 7, April 1, 2020


Demand Surges for Virtual Healthcare Amid Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

With Canada under strict social-distancing rules and facing an unprecedented demand for medical resources due to COVID-19, many British Columbians are turning to virtual medicine for help. The idea of telemedicine is not new, but operators of video-based healthcare say they’re witnesses a never-before-seen interest in their services.
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TeleSense Canada Gives Canadians Access to Comprehensive Healthcare Services from the Safety of Their Homes

Canadians can receive healthcare services from the safety of their homes courtesy of TeleSense Canada. The telemedicine platform was designed with the capability to make an accurate diagnosis complete with vital signs, setting it apart from other platforms as a true telehealth solution.
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CloudMD Launches Flagship Telemedicine App In Ontario

CloudMD Software & Services has officially launched its flagship telemedicine app for use in the Province of Ontario. The app, which is free to use, will enable Ontarians to book same-day virtual visits with a licensed physician via real-time videoconferencing on the mobile app. The app, which initially launched in British Columbia a few short weeks ago, has seen a massive spike in use amidst the ongoing coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic. 
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The Role of Tech from Telemedicine to Star Trek-Like Devices

Police in China are using Robocop-style helmets embedded with AI to spot someone with a fever from 16 feet away. A restaurant in L.A. has been checking people’s temperatures at the door with an infrared noncontact thermometer. And a hotel near Texas Medical Center in Houston just deployed germ-zapping robots to sanitize guest rooms and common areas. In the war against the spread of the coronavirus, tech gadgets and telemedicine services are getting fast-tracked to the front lines.
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Sterilizers Triple Lifetime of N95 Masks

Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP), an Irvine, California, firm has just qualified a new reprocessing protocol that can add two extra uses to common N95 masks, tripling their useful lifetime. Already installed STERRAD sterilizers can be easily implemented to process the masks, and ASP claims that a single STERRAD setup can reprocess 480 masks per day.
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Robotic COVID-19 Testing Lab Can Process 1000 Patient Samples Daily

Researchers at UC Berkeley have set up a “pop-up” robotic COVID-19 testing lab that can process up to 1000 patient samples a day, and it could ramp up to as many as 3000 a day, if required. The initiative received donations of high-throughput robotic PCR systems from campus research labs within Berkeley, and the new facility can provide results as quickly as 4 hours from the receipt of patient swabs.
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Elite Hackers Target WHO as Coronavirus Cyberattacks Spike

Elite hackers tried to break into the World Health Organization in March, sources told Reuters, part of what a senior agency official said was a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks.
WHO Chief Information Security Officer Flavio Aggio said the identity of the hackers was unclear, but the effort was unsuccessful. He warned that hacking attempts against the agency and its partners have soared as they battle to contain the coronavirus. 
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The Sound of Coronavirus: Israeli Apps Helping Contain Pandemic

One app tells you if you've been in the vicinity of a coronavirus carrier and another aims to assess whether you have Covid-19 based on the sound of your voice. In Israel, sometimes dubbed the “start-up nation” with nearly 10 per cent of workers employed in high-tech, the coronavirus pandemic has seen a flurry of new technologies designed to contain transmission.
Start-Up Nation Central, an NGO, has compiled a directory of some 70 Israeli technology companies developing responses to the new virus, which has infected more than 4,000 people in the country. 
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Telemedicine is Essential During the COVID-19 Crisis and After

Telemedicine has been steadily on the rise for years, with companies around the world helping patients. It has not become a mainstream form of patient interaction because it defies the time-honoured custom of the physical visit. It also needs to overcome regulatory and commercial hurdles and requires a digital infrastructure that ensures secure connections between patients and physicians.
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Hospitals are Deploying Virtual Care Apps in a Matter of Days, Exposing Them to More Cyber Attacks

The coronavirus has forced hospitals to fight an uphill battle on multiple fronts, and as they scramble to establish virtual healthcare solutions to minimize the strain on other resources, they’re becoming prime targets for hackers looking to capitalize on the chaos.
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Virtual Healthcare in Canada

Montreal Family Doctors Turn to Telemedicine for Most Patients

Family doctors across Montreal have switched to telemedicine to examine as many as 90 per cent of their patients  — a new development that is likely to influence the way physicians practise even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
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Alberta to Launch Virtual Doctor Services to Supplement Provincial Healthcare System

The Government of Alberta and TELUS Health announced a new partnership that will give Albertans access to virtual healthcare services, including doctors. The decision to partner with TELUS comes as the province of Alberta is looking to address COVID-19 and reduce pressure on its healthcare system.
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Vancouver Hospitals Adopt Healthcare App Designed by Tech Companies

BC Children’s Hospital and B.C. Women’s Hospital are among 26 Vancouver area healthcare facilities that have started using the app, COVID-19 Critical Care Resource Management. It can track staff and resources in real-time. The app was developed by two Vancouver-based tech companies, healthtech software startup Thrive Health and Traction on Demand, in collaboration with the Government of British Columbia and Salesforce.
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Nova Scotia Boosts 811 Staffing, Virtual Healthcare to Fight Spread of COVID-19

The Nova Scotia government has announced a number of new measures aimed at strengthening the province’s healthcare system and limiting the spread of COVID-19. The measures, announced recently, include increased testing for COVID-19, expanding virtual care for healthcare workers, and boosting 811 resources.
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Tech Company Offering Free Virtual Doctor Visits to Saskatchewan Residents

When a Saskatchewan resident has a virtual appointment with a doctor through the Lumeca app, it’ll come at no charge. The service functions like a virtual walk-in clinic, connecting users with doctors in Saskatchewan over video chat..
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