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Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive in Canada?

While most people think of Canada as a place to get cheap healthcare and cheap medical supplies, there are some medical items that are much more expensive in Canada than they are in other parts of the world. For example—hearing aids Toronto—with some models running close to $4000 Canadian dollars. But why is it so much more expensive and are there other options for people in Canada who want to get a new hearing aid but not pay so much?

In the past, the price was explained by expensive components that were converted over to digital and were making up the majority of the price. However, these are now rather easy to make and the price has come down on them at an extremely quick rate. Most of them are manufactured in China as well, making the labor cost that goes into them quite cheap.

Another previous expense was paying off the research and development that went into the software running the hearing aid. However, that has been paid down for a number of years and the programs have become standard. So again, this is not the explanation for the price being so high.

Invisible hearing aid shown in earTherefore, it is the relationship between companies that produce the hearing aids, and companies that market them to the patients that is driving up the price. Each step of the way, someone wants to make a profit, and each step of the way that raises the cost exponentially. This is particularly true for many of the top brands.

There are still improvements being done on hearing aids, even if they are minor. This means there are still development teams that need to be paid along every step of the way. However, the improvements that are being made are not all that impressive anymore, leading people to hope that the price will drop soon, something that is great news for anyone who has found themselves in need of a new hearing aid.

The price is also kept high due to factors such as product liability insurance, which manufacturers pay to indemnify themselves against product liability suits, and this is an expense that, unfortunately, continues to remain high. However, the overall price of hearing devices has stabilized more recently, and may even begin to go down, as the costs for parts and labor goes down as well.

In the meantime, there are a number of insurance plans in Canada, under their universal healthcare system, that are available to those who need help. These can help reduce the price of the hearing aids drastically and can help those who need them get the help they deserve. Talking to your prescribing doctor about your options might be the best way to determine what your options are to reduce the cost you pay for your hearing aid.

Overall, the price of hearing aids in Canada is made up of a number of extremely complicated variables. As the price for these variables goes down so will the price of the hearing aids to consumers. This is aided by a number of insurance and company-based programs that help reduce the price for consumers in the current marketplace.

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How Apps Are Changing the Medical Field

Just ten years ago, it would have been inconceivable that healthcare apps would actually help patients manage their own care. Now, with the prominence of smart phones, people around the world are turning to the web to get information and services they need with the push of a button. This revolution is saving smart phone and computer users tons of time, money, and stress, and has made medical providers rethink the best ways to provide their services.

One of the biggest ways that apps are making things more convenient for people is that you can now refill your prescription through an app. Many major pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS actually offer their own apps that are designed just for this purpose. For those who use smaller local pharmacies, apps like RefillRx and Refill Buddy work with many different pharmacies and allow you to refill by scanning the barcode on your prescription. If you have a busy schedule, this can save tons of time that you might otherwise spend on the phone refilling your medicine.

Another interesting way that apps are making the medical field more user-friendly is by actually letting consumers chat with medical professionals online. Apps like First Opinion, Curefy, and Doctor On Demand allow you to send messages back and forth with a doctor whenever you like, so that you can get expert advice about any medical problem that’s bothering you before you spend money on an office visit. Some of the apps even have extra features, like prescriptions for a low fee, or even a video consultation.

This trend is also making its way into the mental health field with online therapy apps. BetterHelp, 7 Cups of Tea, and Talkspace all offer free consultations and convenient online therapy services for low fees. You can chat with a therapist through messages online and through your smartphone as often as you need, so you get great value for money as well as privacy and convenience. Many people are praising this trend as a great innovation in counseling services, and tons of patients are switching over to this service or incorporating it into their routine along with office visits.

app1There are also many apps that allow users to monitor various aspects of their own health. These apps are great for anyone that likes to set their own health goals, because you have an easy way to mark down your progress and see a visual representation of the work that you’ve done. There are apps like MyFitnessPal and LoseIt!, which help you track your calories and nutrients for a healthier diet. The Nike+ workout app lets you track various aspects of your workout, like your steps or your speed, for better performance. For women, there are tons of apps like Clue that can help you track your menstrual cycle and even help you get pregnant if you desire. These are just a few of the many health tracking apps that are designed to make staying in shape easy and convenient.

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How to Decide When to See A Doctor

With the high costs of medical treatment currently, many people try to avoid seeing a doctor as often as possible to save money. Although it is understandable that everyone wants to hang on to their hard-earned cash, there are some times that you need to bite the bullet and head to the doctor. However, there are also times when you can heal yourself with some good research and self care. Here’s a checklist to help you decide when a doctor’s visit is necessary.

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  • If you have abnormal symptoms that persist over time, you should consult a doctor. Even if the symptoms are not necessarily causing you any pain, they could be the sign of a larger condition that could require treatment, so checking in with your doctor is definitely a good idea. If you notice something abnormal just once or twice, you probably don’t need to see a doctor unless it causes you excruciating pain. Most of us experience some infrequent symptoms of things like colds or stomach problems every once in a while, and they are nothing to worry about.
  • If you have been treating a symptom with over the counter medicine and find that you are still experiencing problems, that’s a sure sign that you should see a doctor. You likely will require a stronger prescription, and you should definitely check with the doctor to make sure you get an accurate diagnosis as well. If you can treat a problem successfully with over the counter medicine, then you generally do not need to see the doctor.
  • If you suspect you have a condition that you know will require antibiotics or another prescription medicine to treat, such as an infection, pneumonia, or a rash, then you should see a doctor right away rather than letting your symptoms persist. In these situations, you are most likely going to have to see a doctor eventually anyway, so it does you no good to wait and continue letting the symptoms get worse. You can often just go to an urgent care in these situations instead of your normal doctor’s office.
  • If you have a serious illness or chronic condition that needs regular monitoring and you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, it’s time to head to the doctor’s office. It is crucial for you to maintain an open line of communication with your doctor in this situation so that you know when to seek help and how to know which symptoms are a cause for concern.
  • If you haven’t had a checkup in over a year and you have any questions about your health, it can never hurt to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Although this does cost some money, it’s important for you to talk with a health professional to make sure everything is going well and that you don’t have any conditions that need further treatment. If you struggle to pay for medical care, look into local government-sponsored insurance plans that can help you go for little to no cost.