If you’re old enough to read and comprehend this article, chances are that you have memories of going to the doctor’s office as a kid. If you were lucky enough, you got a lollipop on the way out that most likely sent you to the dentist a month later, but that’s a different story. However, as time moves forward it is becoming increasingly clear that those in-person doctors visit may soon become a thing of the past.
The world of telehealth and telemedicine is coming a lot quicker than you may believe. Think about it. How often have you gone to WebMd before even thinking about going to a doctor? How many of us have gone to social media to vent about mental health issues before going to see a therapist? Chances are that most people head to the internet before a medical professional because it’s free and right at our fingertips. Fortunately, the world of technology is progressing towards a world in which medical professionals can exist in a increasingly technological world.
In the world of mental health, platforms such as BetterHelp are doing an incredible job of marrying the concept of medical care with technology. The online platform allows potential users the ability to answer a few short questions before connecting them with their large network of medical professionals. Also, BetterHelp does a great job of connecting users to different articles and online resources that help as well. Other platforms such as Headspace also find ways to sneak into the conversation by offering online meditation techniques to assist with mental health care. Unfortunately, certain telehealth platforms have run in to their fair share of challenges.
Talkspace email marketing fascinates me on a daily basis pic.twitter.com/9x6kjnLXzc
— Kerry Flynn ? (@kerrymflynn) January 22, 2019
This week, popular telehealth platform, Talkspace, ran into issues when users complained about a headline that relayed users to an article. Specifically, a number of users took an issue with an article’s headline that read, “Why hooking up is a good thing.” While the article itself was a bit more serious, some users found the headline to be triggering or a bit too casual. Other health professionals such as therapist, Ben Caldwell, have issued criticisms of platforms like Talkspace. Caldwell stated, “While I credit Talkspace for taking in the feedback from their users and apologizing, it remains true that some of the articles on their site seem like little more than millennial clickbait.” He also added, “Trained therapists are usually pretty good at recognizing when that’s happened, repairing the relationship, and learning from it. Apps and bots may have a harder time recognizing the impact of what they’ve said.”
While apps like Talkspace can learn to better word headlines and articles, they do offer something that was previously difficult for many people. The world of telehealth is revolutionary in that it provides easy access healthcare at an affordable price. For many people, accessing a quality therapist that’s the right for them can be pricey and downright difficult. More importantly, many of these platforms such as BetterHelp are backed by a network of over 1,000 licensed therapists. The world of telehealth may have some serious changes ahead, but it’s doing some much needed work to revamp mental health care. What do you think?