Orion Health launches new healthcare AI-enabled patient navigation services

Orion Health this week announced the launch of new digital front door services that are already used by 15 million people in Ontario and will soon be more widely available. The tools are designed to streamline care and tasks for overburdened healthcare workers and reduce reliance on emergency departments, the company says.


The platform, called Virtuoso, is a multichannel interface where patients have a single point of contact with the healthcare system, according to Orion. It includes a symptom assessment tool, enhanced with artificial intelligence, that can help platform users obtain more targeted information and advice about available care.

“This is not a costumed patient portal,” Brad Porter, Global Chief Executive Officer of Orion Health, said in an announcement Monday. “Virtuoso is a customized, community-specific, highly accessible platform that integrates complex healthcare systems. It empowers everyday people like you and me to take control of our own health.”

New Zealand-based Orion Health, which also offers a clinical and medication management and health information portal on its unified health information exchange platform, leverages existing technology, such as electronic health records, and integrates them with patient portals and other systems.

The consumer-facing extension of the HIE allows users to view their health information and access a range of available self-service features.

“For the first time, people will truly be active participants in their own health care. They will have streamlined access to their entire medical history, from primary care and specialists to hospital interventions,” Porter added.

The company says that because digital front door technology allows healthcare systems to create self-service features tailored to their patient populations, the systems can free up time for physicians as they increase access to care.

Dr. Chris Hobson, Orion Health’s chief medical officer, said digital front door technology can ease doctors’ workload by shifting care to patient homes or community clinics and “saving frontline health care workers from the jobs only humans can do,” in a separate statement. on the company’s website.

“Access to health care has not evolved much in my lifetime,” Hobson said in a statement. “We have the same waiting rooms, the same routine questions and the same paper prescriptions.”

“It all depends too much on the availability of nurses and doctors, which creates unsustainable pressure,” he added. “We see far too much care taking place in hospitals, so we need to find ways to ease the burden on healthcare workers and, where necessary, reduce physical contact between people and the healthcare system.”

Additional healthcare navigation services offered on the new Virtuoso platform include:

  • Accredited knowledge hub in the field of healthcare.
  • Verified medical library.
  • Accredited Healthcare Services Directory.
  • Find-a-service.
  • Access to digital healthcare records.
  • Translation service.
  • Website or mobile app.
  • 24/7 online chat and nurse-led call center.
  • Virtual consultations.
  • Healthcare navigation support.
  • Wellbeing support and groups.
  • Feedback forms and surveys.
  • Book and schedule appointments.
  • Insurance Coverage Checker.
  • Payment Gateways.


Following a major financial downturn in 2019 and restructuring that followed the loss of government contracts from the Obama administration, Andrew Bowater, Orion Health’s global vice president of corporate affairs and marketing, reported that the company shifted to a start-up operations structure focused on innovation to return to profitability.

Before the pandemic, it began working on its DFD offering, focusing on developing a “bespoke, community-specific HIE platform” for state and territory health departments in Australia.

“For the first time, people will truly be active participants in their own health care. They will have streamlined access to their entire medical history, from primary care, allied health professionals to hospital interventions,” said Orion Health founder and former CEO Ian McCrae. in a statement at the time.


“Hospitals worldwide are overwhelmed,” James Rice, Orion Health’s executive vice president for North America, said in a statement. “We have the same processes and care is happening in the wrong places. If we want to reduce the burden on physicians, patients must be treated in locations that make sense for the level of care needed for their conditions.”

Andrea Fox is editor-in-chief of Healthcare IT News.
Email: afox@himss.org

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.