This Sudbury start-up will make medical house calls

People in Sudbury will soon have another option when it comes to medical care. And it’s a bit of a throwback to the days of house calls.

St. George Medical brings medical care to patients' homes

A new Sudbury start-up will be making medical house calls, linking patients with a doctor in southern Ontario via video conferencing. (iStock)

People in Sudbury will soon have another option when it comes to medical care. And it's a bit of a throwback to the days of house calls.

Jessica Montpellier, a nurse in Sudbury, says St. George Medical Clinic is offering in-home consultations linking patients to a doctor via telemedicine.

"We're pretty much a walk-in clinic that comes to you," Montpellier told CBC's Up North.

Montpellier said she helped start the clinic after becoming frustrated with the limitations many patients encounter when trying to access medical care.

"I worked at another telemedicine walk-in clinic and had a lot of patients who told me they couldn't come to the clinic because they had no way of getting there or they had limited funds to get a taxi," Montpellier said.

"They would miss follow up, and they'd ask if there's anything else they could do. At the time, there wasn't."

Jessica Montpellier, a Sudbury nurse, is one of the people behind St. George Medical home visits, which provides house calls to patients. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

Parents will benefit from in-house service

Montpellier teamed up with Dr. Victor Youssef, a family doctor in Oakville, to test out the service. So far, she said, it's been a success. And the process shouldn't be unfamiliar to anyone who's ever booked a doctor's appointment.

"The patient will call the number, and talk to me directly," Montpellier said. "I get their health card number over the phone, I create a profile them, then we discuss a time for the appointment."

The service has been popular not just for the elderly and those with accessibility concerns, but also for parents, especially working parents and single mothers.

"If they have multiple children and only one is sick, they have to bring all the family to the clinic,  where they're exposed to germs," Montpellier said.

"Now we're able to come to the home and assess the children in their environment and they are much happier."

The doctor will see you, through video conference

Once Montpellier arrives at the patient's house, she starts the assessment right away.

"I do some chartings and then they video conference right then and there," she said. "The doctor will diagnose, come up with a plan for their care."

"If there's a prescription required, he writes one up, and faxes it to the pharmacy of their choice."

Currently, Montpellier said there's just enough work for the two-person team. But as business increases, she's expecting to hire more nurses and doctors.

You can visit the St. George Medical home visit website here.

With files from Martha Dillman