Lumeca, Cowessess First Nation launch Canada’s first virtual healthcare pod
The pod, equipped with cameras, microphones and a touchscreen, allows patients to access the care of a doctor live and within minutes of entering the pod
REGINA, Sask. — Saskatchewan’s Cowessess First Nation has partnered with Lumeca Health, a Regina-based virtual healthcare provider, to bring physician care to patients through the launch of its Health Pod, a first in North America.
The pod, equipped with cameras, microphones and a touchscreen, allows patients to access the care of a doctor live and within minutes of entering the pod.
The Health Pod is intended to help bridge the gap in health services available to rural residents, and is located in the Cowessess First Nation Health Department.
Chief Cadmus Delorme, Cowessess First Nation, said in a statement that capitalizing on the rise of virtual healthcare delivery will help overcome the challenges that come with delivering care in rural areas, something that has been increasingly difficult during the pandemic.
Delorme continued, “Traveling to highly public, or more densely populated areas with the potential COVID-19 risk is a concern, and Lumeca and Cowessess First Nation are presenting an option to reduce the risk through virtual health service delivery.”
Shawn Hazen, founder of Lumeca Health, was on hand for the installation and first live demo of the Health Pod.
Hazen said Lumeca was founded with the mission of seeking innovative ways to overcome the barriers that may limit people from accessing quality healthcare.
Hazen added, “Three things Lumeca is always focused on: How do we help make healthcare simple, safe and secure. With the full touchscreen, we have attempted to make the experience as user-friendly as possible.”
Hazen continued, “Cowessess is a great partner as its leadership and Nation continues to be progressive in exploring new ways to benefit its people. It was a natural first partner to showcase what healthcare could look like for all First Nation communities.”