Behavioral Health Telemedicine
He announced telemedicine companies see mental health as the next frontier.
- Teledoc’s direct-to-consumer behavioral health services has 10,000 active subscribers already
- American Well is rolling its “telepsychiatry” out to seven states by August, 2017.
- MDLive is also working with Walgreens through their subsidiary “Breakthrough”.
If you have ever had, lived with someone who had or has a mental illness, you will probably agree it is a good idea. Maybe not to initially treat, depending on the severity, but for follow up and maintenance.
Although it could be a good starting place, due to the fact people with mental health issues may not want to leave the house to see a doctor. In their own, safe environment, they may be able to reach out and start communicating about possible treatment.
Once treated many patients with mental problems do not take their prescribed medications as directed. This is a huge problem in treating them. If someone is able to talk to them at home, it may help.
It may also be a relief to their caregivers as it can be very frustrating and painful to care for and help someone with a mental illness. It can wreck havoc in the home, even breaking up families.
As Bruce pointed out, since the nation is dealing with a rising rate of suicides, opioid addiction and numerous other mental health issues it may be a real benefit for some of these people.
Another issue is the lack of qualified psychiatrists and psychologists in many places, especially rural areas.
Our behavioral health programs are not presently able to deal with the increased load of patients. This may well be a solution to at least part of that problem.
Even insurance companies are starting to come on board to help pay for some of these services including video consultations.
After having lived with a person for mental illness for many years, I think it is a good thing. So what is your opinion?