Telemedicine has always been a convenient and cost-effective way for patients to seek medical care in times of urgency. However, it has become increasingly important in the health industry due to the rise in demand for remote medical care brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This global crisis has presented unprecedented challenges across various sectors, including healthcare. However, it has also created opportunities for new technologies to revolutionize the healthcare landscape, particularly in the realm of mental health.
One of the most significant developments in the healthcare industry is the stabilization of telehealth, which has seen a 38 times increase in its usage since before the pandemic.
Telehealth for Mental Health
In times of lockdowns and social distancing, people lived with a consistent sense of uncertainty, worry, and anxiety, leading to a substantial increase in the number of people seeking mental health treatment. Fortunately, the increasing awareness of mental health issues has led to the emergence of telemental health, a safe and effective alternative to traditional in-person treatment.
Telehealth is revolutionizing the healthcare industry in general. Still, its impact on mental health has been even more significant - Mental health professionals claim that COVID-19 has affected people's mental health worse than the disease itself.
What is telemental health?
Telemental health is a new and innovative approach to providing mental healthcare. It is a practice that utilizes technology and telecommunication tools, such as video conferencing, phone calls, and real-time chats, to provide mental health services, with the added advantage of accessibility and convenience to the patients.
This trend is breaking down the societal stigmas surrounding mental health, eliminating the limitations of traditional in-person visits, and providing a greater level of comfort and flexibility, making it easier for individuals to reach out for help, creating a positive future for the health industry.
Now, it's important to note that while telehealth is a breakthrough for healthcare, it’s not meant to replace in-person care. Instead, it serves as an additional tool to help individuals receive their needed support.
Different types of telemental health
Telehealth provides medical care through various online means, with each method allowing patients to speak with medical professionals about their mental health concerns.
- Synchronous telehealth is the most common mental health treatment method. It involves real-time communication between the patient and the mental health professional. It can be done through video or phone calls, allowing patients to discuss their medical conditions openly.
- Asynchronous telehealth: In this method, the patient records their message prior and uploads it to the medical provider's portal for a later review.
- Remote patient monitoring: It involves the direct transmission of the patient’s clinical measurements, occurring in real-time.
Telemental health benefits
Let's examine the significance of telehealth in mental health further. Research studies have shown that patients who use telehealth services for mental health report higher satisfaction levels than those who seek traditional face-to-face consultations.
Telehealth has also successfully reduced the stigma associated with mental health, allowing for private and secure consultations without having to visit a hospital or clinic, thereby signaling a positive shift in public attitudes. People seeking mental health consultations through telehealth feel more comfortable discussing their mental health issues and related concerns.
Telehealth has helped to eliminate many of the limitations associated with in-person visits, providing care to patients globally regardless of proximity to medical professionals or the time of day. A survey conducted by Price Waterhouse-Cooper found that 72% of respondents between 18 and 44 years old are willing to receive mental health treatment via telehealth instead of face-to-face.
Telehealth has revolutionized the health industry, destigmatizing mental health issues and allowing everyone to begin speaking up about mental illness.
Several telehealth and mental health startups like Bold Health, Live Chair Health, and Vytalize are leveraging the power of emerging technologies to provide digital mental health services more efficiently and cost-effectively.
The future of telehealth and mental health
Telehealth is transforming healthcare by bridging the gap between the digital and physical world and destigmatizing the stigma associated with mental illness. The advancement of telemental health has ushered in a promising future for mental healthcare, pushing the limits of traditional treatment. As more startups and companies join the conversation, develop new technologies, and raise awareness on this topic, mental health care will become more accessible and efficient, leading to a better quality of life for patients.
The possibilities are endless, and the expansion of telemental health is just the beginning of a new era for mental health care. With the growing awareness and recognition of the importance of mental health, there has never been a better time to invest in the future of mental health.
Are you a corporate partner looking to connect with new healthcare technologies? At Plug and Play is fast-tracking innovation in the healthcare industry, connecting corporate partners with new healthcare technologies. We can expect to see more positive changes in the mental health field in the upcoming years as more startups join the conversation. Reach out to connect with the most innovative telehealth startups.