Dr. Wendy-Topic: Skype and Video Conferencing revolutionizing mental health care
Skype has been used for years as a way to talk to family and friends and has approximately 600,000 users internationally. It is much more personal than a phone call or text message.
Now, Psychologists and Physicians are using Skype and other video conferencing systems with their patients. Video and audio conferencing is as easy as using your laptop or iPad with a camera and access to Internet connection.
Five years ago, I purchased a secure video server for my company that complies with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. If a Psychologist or Physician bills Insurance companies or Medicare they must use a compliant video system. Skype is not in compliance.
My Life Consultants system allows Healthcare Professionals to work with groups of up to eight clients, who share similar situations such as depression, divorce, loneliness or dealing with stress.
The benefit of video systems is the client can access a psychologist at the time they are experiencing depression or anxiety in the privacy of their home at a moments notice without having to make an office appointment. It also allows mental health professionals to check up on those who are located in rural areas to deal with day-to-day issues without the inconvenience of travel.
With video the client gets to see and talk to a professional and make an informed decision, check the Psychologists’ credentials and see if the Psychologist is the one with whom the client is comfortable.