One of the lasting legacies of the global SARSCoV-2 pandemic will doubtless be the establishment of virtual care as an integral part of mainstream medicine. As COVID-19 forced clinics and doctors’ offices to close, the need for acute patient care grew and safe solutions were sorely needed.
One Canadian information technology company that nimbly responded to that need is Toronto-based Dapasoft Inc., an independent software vendor and a 20-year partner of Microsoft Canada in acute-care markets. Addressing requests from existing
customers, the firm leveraged Microsoft Teams (Microsoft’s comprehensive collaboration hub offering secure chat, video and voice features) to create Corolar Virtual Care (CVC)
– an add-on audiovisual product that allows healthcare organizations to quickly launch acute-care clinics.
In its latest iteration, Corolar ConnectedCare (C3A), the tool is specifically designed for care coordination and collaboration. “The primary value of C3A is for clinicians across the
care continuum to access patient’s acute-care data, collaborate and coordinate effectively with care providers to improve health outcomes,” explains Jijesh Devan, Dapasoft’s
Senior Director of Product Marketing and Business Development. “The product has a lot of traction in the current pandemic because it sits on top of Teams and allows customers to
set up urgent care to treat patients remotely in both scheduled and walk-in virtual visits.”
Over the past six months, the Teams-native application, Corolar Virtual Care, has been helping hospital systems and regional health authorities to enable virtual care.
Designed with specific input from healthcare executives and frontline healthcare workers, CVC is typically used by a range of professionals, including clinicians in specialty clinics, triage nurses and registration clerks. “This product is completely driven by end-users’ voices,” Devan says.
Dapasoft is no stranger to infectious epidemics: its involvement in infectious disease outbreaks dates back to 2003 when the lethal SARS coronavirus first ravaged Ontario. “Now we’re back full circle with a significantly bigger pandemic,” Devan says. Development of the latest-generation app began last January when prominent CIOs and other healthcare executives in the Greater Toronto Area acknowledged a pressing need for a product specific to the exigencies of the surging pandemic.
Dapasoft’s response was rapid and surefooted, enabled by its long experience with Microsoft Teams. “We’d been working on Teams for several years and were very familiar with its operation,” says Devan. Once aware of the urgent end-user requirements, Dapasoft was able to get the app’s beta version up and running for testing in customers’ environments by April 2020. “That’s a testimonial to the fantastic folks at Dapasoft and also
to the agility and adaptive capability of the Teams platform,” Devan says.
By June, CVC was ready for general release, and by August, awareness of the product was expanding. “Now several large healthcare systems – one in British Columbia and two each in Ontario and the Atlantic region – have adopted Corolar,” Devan says. As user needs evolve during the pandemic’s second surge, Devan says Corolar technology is poised to spring into action with the agility necessary to meet new demands. It has already done some fine-tuning to address the changing circumstances some of its early-adopters faces.
In October 2020, when the Ontario Health Ministry called for the rolling out of urgent care clinics with a deadline of January 2021, Dapasoft was able to help customers launch these clinics on time. Patients can book and be notified when to come in by SMS or email and be put on the appropriate care pathway.
According to Devan, it’s the basic functional flexibility of the Teams platform that easily accommodates the adaptation of add-on products such as Corolar Virtual Care. “Once clinicians learn to use Teams, it becomes easy to grasp the workings of a new application,” he says.
And as customer needs further evolve, new enhancements can be readily made. “Lots of new releases will be coming out quickly,” Devan says. With the pandemic showing little
sign of releasing its grip and Canada poised to undertake the largest vaccination program in its history, Teams-based Corolar Virtual Care would appear to be tailor-made for the moment.
*This article is sponsored content