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Winnipeg-based Canada Life will start offering a virtual healthcare platform as a standard benefit for group plans.

Access to the platform has been an optional benefit through Montreal-based “telemedicine” provider Dialogue Technologies Inc. since 2017. Beginning this summer, the platform will be offered to all Canada Life group plans that have up to 400 plan members.

“Together, we’ve developed a streamlined, proprietary virtual healthcare solution that will give more than one million Canadians easier access to high-quality healthcare,” said Ryan Weiss, vice president of product and experience, group customers, at Canada Life, in a release.

Dialogue’s platform is bilingual, and available through a mobile app or web browser. Services can be accessed anywhere in Canada, including live chat with a registered nurse or video consultation with a doctor — “whether to diagnose a wide variety of conditions, provide medical advice, write a prescription or make a referral to a specialist,” the release said.

Another insurer, Winnipeg-based Johnston Group, has offered telemedicine to firms under the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan through New York-based Teladoc Health Inc. since September 2019.

Insurers worldwide are leveraging tech to better engage clients and improve their bottom lines in an environment of low interest rates. For example, U.K. multinational insurer Aviva has offered StandbyMD’s platform since 2011. The platform gives individual and group plan members 24-hour phone access to doctors, and face-to-face consultations or home visits can be arranged in two hours (one hour for U.S. clients).

At the beginning of this year, Canada Life, Great-West Life and London Life became one company under the Canada Life banner.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional context.