What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine allows you to connect with a doctor through a secure video conference, in real time. A Telemedicine visit is just like a regular visit with a doctor, only the doctor you will be seeing and speaking with is on a screen. Just like a regular doctor’s appointment, your Telemedicine visit will be private and confidential. It can only be seen and heard by the health care professionals involved. At Appletree, you are always speaking to a live doctor from within our own network.
As one of the earliest adopters of this technology, Appletree is the #1 provider of Telemedicine services in Canada, with over 30 locations in Ontario.
Telemedicine in Your Community
Telemedicine services are available at most Appletree Medical Centres, as well as at dedicated Appletree Telemedicine Clinics in communities across Ontario. Our Telemedicine clinics are found within pharmacies, physiotherapy and chiropractic offices, as well as in select Metro and Food Basics grocery stores. Even if an Appletree Medical Centre is not close by, you can still access our doctors through a Telemedicine clinic in your community.
What to Expect
Throughout your entire visit, our Telemedicine Assistants are there to assist you, and the doctor. When the doctor appears on the screen, the Telemedicine Assistant will begin by presenting your medical history to the doctor. The doctor will ask you questions, provide a diagnosis, and issue a prescription or a laboratory requisition, if required. The Telemedicine Assistant will provide you with any paperwork that you need at the completion of your visit.
Should you require a follow-up appointment, simply return to the Telemedicine clinic. Both the Telemedicine Assistant and the Appletree doctor will be able to access your digital medical chart and laboratory results.
Check Wait Times
Check wait times, business hours and Telemedicine clinic locations.
Bring your OHIP or method of payment and a list of your current medications with you.
Check-In At Kiosk
When you arrive at the clinic, please register at one of our self-registration digital kiosks.
Present OHIP Card
If you are an Ontario patient, you will be required to present your OHIP card at every visit.
Complete a Survey
A medical questionnaire will be sent to your phone, asking questions relevant to your visit. The Telemedicine Assistant and doctor will review your responses during your visit.
Start Your Appointment
You will be greeted by a Telemedicine Assistant who will bring you to an exam room, record your medical history, the reason for your visit, and will assist you during the entire visit.
All Ontario patients are entitled to speak to a doctor via Telemedicine, however, not all medical appointments are appropriate for this format. Below, we provide a list of services and conditions that are allowed for Telemedicine, and a list of exclusion criteria.
Appropriate for Telemedicine (Inclusion Criteria)
- Allergy Symptoms
- Blood glucose check
- Blood pressure check
- Bug bites
- Poisony Ivy
- Mild sunburn
- Cold sores
- Canker Sores
- Cold and/or Flu
- Sore Throat
- Upper respiratory infection
- Ear infection, earache, or swimmer’s ear, hearing tests
- Eye infection, pinkeye, or styes
- Female urinary tract infection
- Head lice
- Infected toenail or fingernail
- Medication renewal (no controlled or addictive substances)
- Minor burns
- Minor rashes (e.g. Impetigo, Shingles, Ringworm)
- Newly onset cough
- Pregnancy test, birth control renewal, birth control advice or IUD Prescription
- Referral to specialist or allied health professional (e.g. massage therapy, physiotherapy)
- Sinus infection or sinusitis
- STI Check
- Test results
- Work note or medical certificate
Not Permitted for Telemedicine (Exclusion Criteria)
- No narcotic or controlled substance renewal or prescription
- No abdominal pain
- No chest pain
- No pelvic/genital/rectal/breast exams
- No suturing
- No children under 4 years of age
- No psychiatric conditions
- No emergency symptoms including:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Allergic reaction
- Altered state of consciousness
- Head or neck injury
Please ensure that your OHIP card has not expired, and remember to present your card at every visit. If you do not have OHIP coverage, the cost of the appointment is $75. Telemedicine visits are covered by most private benefit plans. We also accept insurance coverage under WSIB, Guard.me and UHIP.
Are you a resident of another Canadian province? Learn more about out-of province reimbursements here:
Telemedicine Services Inclusion & Exclusion List
Not all medical appointments are appropriate for Telemedicine visits. Download our list of Telemedicine Services Inclusions and Exclusions to ensure Telemedicine is right for you.
Telemedicine - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Telemedicine and Virtual Care?
Telemedicine and Virtual Care are similar, as both technologies allow you to see a doctor on a screen, rather than in person.
The main difference is that a Telemedicine appointment occurs within a dedicated examination room with the assistance of a trained Telemedicine Assistant, while virtual care allows you to connect with a doctor from anywhere via your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.
Scope of Services
Another significant difference is the scope of services provided. We can provide a much broader set of services with Telemedicine, as there is a Telemedicine Assistant available to perform initial assessments and testing. For example, the Assistant can look into your ears, eyes and mouth, listen to your heart rate, test your blood sugar, etc. Virtual Care is more appropriate for simple, routine medical appointments.
Please also note the different age restrictions for the two services. Patients 4 years of age and older can be seen via Telemedicine appointment, when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Patients 16 years of age and older may be seen by Virtual Care appointment.