Employer Solutions: Behavioral Health Telemedicine

DMEC Staff@Work

Has Behavioral Health Joined the
Telemedicine Bandwagon?

By JBehavioral Health Telemedicineennifer Platz-Alfonso, MS, LMHC

Director, Disability Clinical
The Hartford

The iPhone hit the market in 2007; how the world has changed since then! Most people are over their initial fear of shopping online and giving out credit card numbers. We now book flights and cruises on our smart phones. Hotels now send us digital keys, so our phones can let us in to our rooms.

And now medicine is on the bandwagon. Doctors read diagnostic images on their phones. By now, many of us have interacted virtually with a nurse or a doctor as an alternative to visiting an urgent care clinic. We have grown comfortable with sharing our (very personal) medical information online. The Cleveland Clinics saw a doubling of video virtual visits from 2016 to 2017, to over 25,000 virtual visits last year. More than half of 2,500 consumers surveyed by Ernst & Young stated that they were ready to contact their doctor through telemedicine.

But what about our even more personal psyches? Would you share your depressive symptoms with an app or with a far-distant mental health practitioner you’ve never met? And does that even work?

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