Answers
  • Is Akira legal?

    Yes! Medical advice provided by a nurse practitioner via phone, email, text, or video is an uninsured service in Ontario, BC, Alberta, and Quebec - this means that it is okay to charge for this service, otherwise there would be no way to offer it! Under the Canada Health Act, every province decides for itself which services it considers to be “medically necessary”.

    Medically necessary services are listed in each province’s schedule of benefits (Ontario’s is available here). Any services not listed in the schedule of benefits are considered uninsured. This is why, for example, hospital visits are typically covered but visits to the dentist are not.

  • Are Akira's clinical staff Canadian?

    Yes! Akira exclusively staffs Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Therapists, and other healthcare professionals who are licensed to work in the provinces they serve. We currently have staff licensed in Ontario, BC, Alberta and Quebec, and we are working hard to expand our coverage across the rest of Canada.

  • Can I use Akira for my children?

    Yes! Family plans are available which provide coverage for children under the age of 25 with the same permanent address.

  • What devices are covered by Akira?

    Akira is currently available for Android 5.0 and above, and iOS 10+ for iPhone 5 and above. A web-based client is available strictly for video consults.

  • What guidelines are Akira's Nurse Practitioners required to follow?

    Our Nurse Practitioners follow a number of guidelines from their professional bodies in their respective provinces. Some examples include: The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) Telepractice Guidelines and The Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS) infoLAW article on telepractice.

  • How are Akira's Nurse Practitioners paid if they can't bill the province?

    We work with a number of full-time and part-time Nurse Practitioners to provide coverage across several provinces. Many of our Nurse Practitioners are on salary, meaning their only incentive is to provide the best possible quality of care - there is no incentive for them to rush through consults.

  • Can I use Akira when I'm out of the country?

    Yes! Wherever you have internet, you can use Akira - but only if your travel is temporary and you’re still a resident of Canada.

  • Is Akira available in my province/territory?

    We currently provide on-demand telemedicine services in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories. We plan to expand nationwide by end of 2018.

  • Does Akira replace my family doctor?

    No, Akira is not a replacement for your family doctor. If you provide consent, we will keep your family doctor up-to-date on any changes to your health as you use Akira.

  • Are my health records secure?

    All data is encrypted and stored in a SOC 2 compliant, Canadian data centre. Unlike with services like FaceTime or Skype, text messages and video consults on Akira are end-to-end encrypted.

    We routinely perform third-party penetration testing and threat risk assessments to ensure that our security practices are up-to-date and effective. We also restrict access to medical information based on region and role - only you and the clinical team directly involved in your care can access your medical records

  • What should I not use Akira for?

    Akira should not be used for emergencies - in an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department. Akira should not be used as your most responsible clinician for chronic disease, cancer or other complex care conditions - we can help where appropriate, but don’t replace your primary care doctor and specialists. Akira’s clinicians do not prescribe narcotics or controlled substances.

  • Why is it called Akira?

    Akira is a Japanese name meaning “bright” or “intelligent”. We’re working on artificial intelligence systems that we hope will, in the near future, make Akira the world’s smartest medical assistant.

  • Why and when do I need a video consult?

    Video consults are used to validate identity, and as part of certain clinical diagnostic tests and exams. If you are asked to do a video consult by a clinician, but are not in a private enough space please feel free to re-engage with the clinician when you are in a private space.

  • Is Akira covered by OHIP?

    Akira is currently not covered by OHIP.

  • How is Akira different from Telehealth Ontario?

    Telehealth Ontario is staffed by Registered Nurses, not Doctors or Nurse Practitioners, and is a triage service only. As it states on the Telehealth Ontario website, “Telehealth Ontario nurses will not diagnose your illness or give you medicine”. In contrast, Akira is staffed by Nurse Practitioners who can diagnose and prescribe as appropriate.</p>

  • Is Akira covered by MSP?

    It depends! While MSP covers video consults with a family doctor in certain circumstances, though not text messages, video or text consults with Nurse Practitioners are not covered.

  • How is Akira different from HealthLink BC?

    HealthLink BC is a service which provides access to non-emergency health information and guidance. HealthLink BC’s nurses can provide general information, but are not permitted to diagnose or treat illness. They cannot prescribe medications or order tests.

    In contrast, Akira is staffed by Nurse Practitioners who can diagnose, prescribe medications, order tests, and refer to specialists as appropriate.

  • Is Akira covered by RAMQ?

    Akira is not currently covered by RAMQ.

  • How is Akira different from Info-Santé 811?

    Info-Santé 811 is a service which provides access to non-emergency health information and guidance. Info-Santé 811’s nurses can provide general information, but are not permitted to diagnose or treat illness. They cannot prescribe medications or order tests.

    In contrast, Akira is staffed by Nurse Practitioners who can diagnose, prescribe medications, order tests, and refer to specialists as appropriate.

  • Is Akira covered by AHCIP?

    Akira is not currently covered by AHCIP.

  • How is Akira different from Health Link?

    Health Link is a service which provides access to non-emergency health information and guidance. Health Link’s nurses can provide general information, but are not permitted to diagnose or treat illness. They cannot prescribe medications or order tests.

    In contrast, Akira is staffed by Nurse Practitioners who can diagnose, prescribe medications, order tests, and refer to specialists as appropriate.