OCTANe Medical Technology Innovation Forum

OCTANe Medical Technology Innovation Forum

Source:

Telehealth panel. Presented at: Octane’s MedTech Innovation Forum; Oct. 27-30, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Garellek reports she is co-founder and chief operating officer of Advekit.
November 30, 2020
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Telehealth eliminates barriers to mental health care

Source:

Telehealth panel. Presented at: Octane’s MedTech Innovation Forum; Oct. 27-30, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Garellek reports she is co-founder and chief operating officer of Advekit.
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Therapists and clients have adopted telehealth delivery quickly during the pandemic. Despite its drawbacks, it has eliminated barriers to continuing or initiating therapy, a panelist at the virtual Octane MedTech Innovation Forum said.

“Starting in March, we saw almost exclusively our therapists started having their sessions all online,” Arielle Garellek, co-founder and chief operating officer of Advekit, said.

telehealth
Source: Adobe Stock

Advekit is a marketplace that connects people to therapists. At the time of the panel discussion, Advekit had matched more than 50,000 people with a therapist, Garellek said.

One benefit of therapy delivered via telehealth is location.

“Telehealth has opened up for people who are in rural areas or who can’t find a therapist they really connect with locally,” Garellek said. “This allows them to find somebody and seek care anywhere, practically.”

In the future, however, only about 15% to 20% of people would want to continue therapy exclusively via telehealth, Garellek said.

Wi-Fi, internet service or other connectivity issues can be a problem. Privacy is another common concern.

“If you’re in a room, there may be people next door that you don’t want listening to your weekly or regular therapy sessions,” Garellek said.

The effects of the pandemic are also a factor in predicting long-term treatment preferences.

“A lot of people have video fatigue,” Garellek said. “They’re on video conference calls all day long right now, and really they are looking forward to eventually being able to at least have some in-person contacts.”

The long-term solution may be a hybrid model that blends face-to-face with telehealth delivery.

“What’s fantastic is now someone [who is] traveling out of town down the line and needs to go to therapy or they don’t want to sit in traffic, it’s really easy just to do therapy virtually,” Garellek said.