Weighing the Pros and Cons of Telemedicine

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What is telepsychiatry?
Telepsychiatry is a telehealth solution that enables patients and practitioners to communicate and assume treatment remotely. To do so, telemedicine psychiatry employs the use of telemedicine video conferencing solutions with HIPAA compliant software that allow patient and doctor to communicate using only laptops and webcams.

How does telemedicine work?
To supplement face to face psychiatric appointments, patients undergo telepsychiatry sessions with psychiatrists from the comforts of their own home. The session is still guaranteed to be confidential due to the HIPAA compliant video conferencing software. After therapy and discussion, the doctor is able to diagnose and prescribe the patient accordingly.

What are the benefits of telemedicine?
Telemedicine video conferencing solutions provide a plethora of benefits for psychiatric patients. Firstly, telepsychiatry is extremely accessible. In a world where many communities are underserved with mental health issues, telemedicine provides fast, efficient and effective treatment to those who need it most. Studies show that individuals who engage in telepsychiatry treatment are more likely to repeat appointments, as opposed to individuals who do face to face therapy.

What are the concerns of telemedicine psychiatry?
Well its strengths are largely spoken of and applauded, there are indeed some critics out there. Naysayers of telemedicine worry that despite efforts put forth with the HIPAA compliant telemedicine video conferencing solutions, patients are at risk of a confidentiality breech. Additionally, many people criticize the unreliability of telemedicine; due to the differing levels of internet connectivity, conferencing may at times be of poor quality and might get in the way of treatment.

Regardless of what the naysayers cry, telemedicine is working to effectively service the thousands of Americans who do not have proper access to mental healthcare. Telemedicine solutions help get individuals the help they need before having to resort to emergency situations, keeping our country’s resources and attitudes toward mental health geared in a positive direction.

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