Winnipeg-based Great-West Life Assurance Co. (GWL) is marking Digital Health Awareness Week with the pilot launch of a fully bilingual virtual health care service.

Together with Montreal-based virtual health program Dialogue, GWL offers eligible employers a virtual health care service that connects their employees to a team of medical professionals who can diagnose a number of conditions, provide medical advice, make a referral to a specialist or write a prescription.

Great-West Lifeco Inc., parent company of GWL, has interests in Dialogue through Portag3 Ventures, which supports promising financial tech companies in Canada and abroad.

The Dialogue platform, available through web or mobile app, allows employees of participating group benefits plans to chat with a registered nurse or see a physician via secure video consultation, for various health and medical issues. It can be accessed from any location, seven days a week, saving hours of time typically spent waiting for in-person, non-urgent care.

“Employers want to offer benefits that can meet the needs of a diverse workforce while proactively supporting their employees’ wellness and productivity,” says Jeff Macoun, executive vice president, group customer, GWL. “We’re piloting Dialogue with employers and their employees because we believe it helps them to achieve both objectives. Our investments in technology and innovation are not just to improve processes and provide faster service, but more importantly, to empower our customers to better achieve financial, physical and mental well-being.”

The one-year pilot is open to employers in Quebec and Ontario, and extends to include their employees who may also be based in Alberta, British Columbia or Nova Scotia.

“We are delighted to work with GWL in our mission to provide a one tap premium healthcare experience, accessible to all,” says Cherif Habib, co-founder and CEO of Dialogue. “By helping employers foster a more engaged workforce and optimize better work-life balance for their employees, we project this collaboration will enable us to reach over a million Canadians.”