Thursday, December 22, 2022 - Investment in innovation by the Manitoba government is supporting Manitoba-based businesses develop innovative products and processes including helping to give Manitobans immediate access to physician care, Deputy Premier Cliff Cullen said, following a tour of QDoc, a company that focuses on providing real-time, 24-7 live virtual medicine consultative services.
“QDoc is helping revolutionize medicine. It is making a significant impact in both helping patients access care more easily and helping our health-care system by reducing emergency room visits,” said Cullen. “In November alone, nearly 4,000 Manitobans used QDoc, 76 per cent of whom were from outside of Winnipeg. Of those patients, 15 per cent would have gone to an emergency room, saving close to 500 emergency room visits just last month.”
The Manitoba government previously announced $100,000 in funding through the Innovation Growth Program to help QDoc develop and commercialize its web-based medical software platform, and $12,000 through the Workforce Development Program, which helps companies assess human resource management needs, as well as develop and implement HR and workforce training and development plans.
QDoc was formed in 2021 with a focus on providing virtual medicine services for those who have barriers to accessing care. There are currently 53 physicians working for QDoc, including general practitioners, emergency medicine physicians, pediatricians, obstetricians and ophthalmologists.
“Our government is bringing health care closer to home for Manitobans,” said Health Minister Audrey Gordon. “QDoc is one of the many solutions to help patients access care, maximize efficiency and reduce stress on our system, such as other recently announced initiatives as a part of our government’s Health Human Resource Action Plan.”
The company is also establishing partnerships to reach remote areas and underserved populations. This includes developing a First Nations community paramedic service through which paramedics would access QDoc when treating an individual in immediate need of physician care. Instead of bringing the patient to hospital, which could be hours away, paramedics can access QDoc virtually to connect the patient to a physician immediately, noted Gordon.
QDoc has also partnered with the Downtown Community Safety Partnership. Thirty of the downtown Winnipeg organization’s front-line staff will be carrying tablets which can deliver QDoc access directly to unsheltered individuals who may need medical assistance, added Cullen.
“QDoc is grateful for the $100,000 of funding we received as part of the Innovation Growth Program. It will help us further our mission to provide equal access to quality medical care for all Canadians regardless of their geographic location or economic status,” said Dr. Norman Silver, co-founder and CEO, QDoc.
The Innovation Growth Program launched in June 2019 to augment the Manitoba government’s suite of business incentives. The program provides up to $100,000 per business in non-repayable grants on a 50-50 cost-sharing basis for eligible projects that develop and commercialize innovative products or processes.
Program applications for the Innovation Growth Program are reviewed on a quarterly basis. The current intake is open until March 15, 2023.
For more information about the Innovation Growth Program visit: www.gov.mb.ca/jec/busdev/financial/igp/index.html.