LONDON, ONT. -- It’s called Get Maple, an online virtual health network that connects Canadians with doctors in minutes.

“Our system will pair you with a doctor that can treat you in your area and then you will see the doctor in our application by either audio, video chat or secure messaging,” says Dr. Brett Belchetz, founder of Maple.

There are over 500 registered doctors in the Maple system that Belchetz says can treat a list of conditions with 90 per cent accuracy.

“Within the application they can prescribe medications, they can generate sick notes, notes for massage and any other paramedic services,” says Belchetz. “They can also order xrays etc. So almost everything you can do in your doctors office visit minus the doctor physically touching you.”

Get Maple is a paid for medical service, however with the fears of COVID-19 putting a strain on health services, Shoppers Drug Mart has paired up with Maple to help fund free virtual health care for Canadians.

“Right now our hospital systems and doctors offices are incredibly busy,” says Sarah Draper, from Shoppers Drug Mart. “Anything we can do to help ease the burden on emergency departments, on walk in clinics,on urgent care, is really important so they can do much needed work on patients who need to be there.”

Through the online system, prescriptions can also be sent to a pharmacy and delivered to the patient.

“It allows people to stay home and get virtual access to care and don’t have to go out even if they are well they don’t have to go out and socialize around a bunch of crowded people and they can get care at home and have access that way,” says Draper.

The free version of the service became available through Shoppers last week and already there has been a 600 per cent increase of users.

Due to the increase volume, Maple and Shoppers have decided to extend the program until the end of March.