Can telehealth displace the therapist's couch?
The psychiatrist's couch is being replaced by a video screen.
No, people with behavioral issues aren’t flocking to reruns of Frasier. They're finding doctors who can treat them at any time and any place, in the comfort of their own homes – through video conferencing, text messaging, even specialized apps that enable users to get the information they need at a moment of crisis.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 25 percent of the population suffers from some sort of event each year, be it insomnia, stress, anxiety or mood changes, and about 6 percent is living with a serious condition such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia (that percentage jumps considerably in the U.S. military, among the nation's veterans and in jobs of high stress, like police and fire departments).
Just mention Robin Williams, and the seriousness of the issue becomes clear.
Recently, American Well and MDLIVE, two of the larger players in the telehealth market, announced expansions of their behavioral health platforms. Another well-known tech company, Brother International, says its videoconferencing arm is seeing a surge in business from mental health professionals.
"The big thing about behavioral health is we don't lay hands on patients," says Jennifer Gentile, MM, PsyD, an instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, who has been named the head of American Well's new Amwell Therapy Associates. "And it's more difficult for these types of patients to get through barriers" to get healthcare.
The reasons for this surge are numerous, and they mirror the healthcare industry as a whole. First, due to a shortage of behavioral health professionals, they're in much demand and have a finite amount of time in their office, so that time spent on face-to-face meetings is limited and quite pricey. Second, people with behavioral issues generally don't want to visit a doctor's office, and would much prefer talking with a doctor in familiar surroundings. They're also in need of immediate help when a healthcare crisis occurs, and can greatly benefit from a real-time link to a caregiver.
"Mental health is not always easily accessed; at best it can often be described as cumbersome," Gentile wrote in a recent blog. "The usual way to find a therapist is to look at the back of your insurance card and call the phone number or look online. Once you have a list, you have to narrow down candidates by geographic location, education and training, and then inquire as to whether or not the therapist has room in their schedule to take a new patient."
Courtney Behrens, a senior marketing manager at Brother International, said telepsychiatry and telecounseling customers are flocking to the company's OmniJoin web conferencing solution because it fulfills a need for a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform by which doctors can talk to patients in their own homes. In fact, many smaller offices and clinics are using the company's cloud-based solution because it's easy to set up and use
"It's hard for a lot of these (doctors) to actually get in front of a patient," she said. "This helps them build out their business and see more patients."
Jim Mountain, president of Pittsburgh-based Secure Telehealth, which uses the OmniJoin platform, said in in a testimonial provided by Brother that his organizations has found videoconferencing to be effective.
“Telepsychiatry is an effective way to provide access to psychiatric care for individuals living in underserved areas," Mountain said. "It has become one of the most successful of all the telemedicine applications because its practitioners don’t need to touch their patients to treat them."
MDLIVE recently acquired Breakthrough Behavioral, a Silicon Valley-based teletherapy provider. Company CEO Randy Parker said the acquisition enables Florida-based MDLIVE to advance its work with the payer and employer markets to offer real-time access to mental health services. And Breakthrough president Julian Cohen added in a prepared statement that the deal creates "an integrated integrated physical and behavioral health platform for patients."
The problem is an acute one for the U.S. military, which sees a high number of veterans returning from overseas duty with some version of post-traumatic stress disorder (70 percent of the nation's military population is also younger than 30, an age group with a higher incidence of behavioral issues). The National Center for Telehealth and Technology has been working with the Department of Defense to push psychological care out to more members of the military community through telehealth visits and mHealth apps like PTSD Coach.
Apps, in fact, are becoming the tool of choice for helping healthcare providers identify whether people have behavioral issues and also enabling consumers themselves to identify those issues. There are apps that allow users to track moods and learn how to breathe properly, even web programs that can plumb a user's social media channels and identify messages with troubling content (such as Tweets from a user who might be considering suicide).
Gentile said news events like Williams' suicide and that of the girlfriend of NBA player Ryan Anderson, focus public attention on mental health issues, which are much more prevalent than most people realize. They also point out that getting help isn't as easy as sitting on a couch in some office and talking to a therapist – mental health crises can occur at any time and place, and need an immediate interaction and support.
"People want to get out of their distress now," she said.
Boardroom Events Names Brother OmniJoin ‘Best in Show’ at Midmarket CIO Forum
Boardroom Events announced today the winners of its Vendor Excellence awards. Presented at the 10th Midmarket CIO Forum, the awards span multiple categories and are voted on by CIOs attending the event.
An invitation-only gathering of midmarket IT executives and technology solution providers, the Boardroom Events Midmarket CIO Forum creates relevant, productive connections between technology decision-makers on both sides of the table. Launched in 2009, the Vendor Excellence awards recognize best-in-class offerings from technology vendors across a wide variety of categories.
New this year are categories for Best Marketing Strategy, which recognizes an innovative and comprehensive approach to marketing solutions at the Midmarket CIO Forum, and Best in Show, for recognition of overall excellence at the event.
"The degree and diversity of innovation and accomplishment in the midmarket technology space is truly impressive, and these award winners represent some of the best solutions available," said Boardroom Events Executive Vice President Hilary Badoian. "We are pleased to see the efforts of these excellent companies recognized by the senior executives who shape industry opinion worldwide."
The Midmarket CIO Forum takes place twice annually, with the next events scheduled for April 19-21, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL; and October 18-20, 2015, at the Hyatt Lost Pines in Austin, TX. More information can be found on the Web.
About BE Midmarket CIO Forum
BE Midmarket CIO Forum is an engaging, informative, and collaborative venue for IT Executives and Solution Providers who are focused on technologies for the midmarket. The Forum is invitation-only, providing tremendous insight about the interests of everyone who attends—and ensuring new connections will be relevant and productive.
About Boardroom Events
Boardroom Events produces best-in-class business development and networking experiences for leaders in the technology industry. Our team pioneered the concept of hosted boardroom meetings that create productive, engaging, and valuable experiences, and the Forums we produce today are an extension of that original model, refined over years of experience. These Forums attract thought leaders from all aspects of the market: IT executives, solution providers, and industry analysts. For more information, visit us on the Web, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Vimeo, and Flickr.
This year's winners include:
Information Builders—Best Midmarket Solution (Software): nominees include AirWatch by VMware, Interneer, and ManageEngine
Networks—Best Midmarket Solution (Hardware): nominees include Kubisys and NewCloud Networks
Mimecast—Best Midmarket Solution (Service): nominees include MaaS360 by IBM, OpenDNS, and OSSCube
Scale Computing—Best Emerging Midmarket Solution: nominees include KnowledgeNet, MicroStrategy, and Voxer
Insight (Dell, HP Print, EMC, VMware)—Best Midmarket Strategy: nominees include Absolute Software, Brother, and Meridian Group
Scale Computing—Best Marketing Strategy: nominees include Halo Business Intelligence, Information Builders, Netreo, and Novell
Brother —Best In Show: nominees include Information Builders, Netreo, OutSystems, and Scale Computing
New products of the week
NetworkWorld's roundup of intriguing new products includes Omnijoin Private Cloud: Product name: OmniJoin Private Cloud
Key features: On-premises web conferencing product that automatically controls software updates and upgrades and does not require any special hardware for installation or operation.
Brother Launches OmniJoin™ Private Cloud, Secure On-Premise Web Conferencing Solution
Brother International Corporation, a leader in small and mid-sized business technology, today announced the availability of OmniJoin™ Private Cloud, a secure, on-premise web and video conferencing solution that offers all of the benefits of the current OmniJoin™ public cloud service, including superior HD video quality and collaboration tools, but within the customers’ own datacenter.
“Businesses frequently share sensitive information over web meetings, such as financials, IP and customer information.” said Bill Henderson, Vice President at Brother International Corporation. “When companies desire to hold these sensitive meetings in a more controlled environment, our Private Cloud will provide them the same level of superior functionality as our public cloud service, but with the control over performance, compliance and administration they desire.”
OmniJoin™ Private Cloud provides enhanced security and allows businesses to adhere to their corporate security and compliance standards by utilizing their own network and security certificates to optimize performance and encrypt communications. The solution also automatically controls software updates and upgrades and does not require any special hardware for installation or operation, making implementation and maintenance painless and easy.
OmniJoin™ Private Cloud is a great fit for businesses who wish to:
Implement a secure conferencing solution without making a large upfront investment in expensive new hardware
Helps meet various compliance standards
Optimize and control the meeting experience by utilizing their own servers, bandwidth and networks
Leverage advanced administration tools to assign multiple administrators, access enterprise level reports and dashboards, implement single sign-on, and provide directory integration
A public cloud version of OmniJoin has been available since June 2012 for businesses that are looking for web meetings with superior HD video and advanced collaboration tools. By now offering two versions of the OmniJoin™ service, Brother can provide a variety of web conferencing solutions that are scalable, flexible and affordable for customers.
For more information about Brother OmniJoin Private Cloud, please visit www.brothercloud.com.
Other Web Services from Brother
For decades, small office / home office, small and medium sized businesses, and corporate workgroup customers have depended on Brother for high-quality, value-packed business machines. By launching the Brother Online suite of smart, web-based business services, Brother has now expanded beyond simply offering great hardware products. OmniJoin™ web conferencing was the first such major service offering, the Brother Online suite has now added a variety of scanning and workflow solutions, which complement and expand the value of Brother™ scanners, printers, and Multi-Function Center® devices. For more information on Brother Online services, visit www.brothercloud.com
Brother International Corporation is one of the premier providers of products for the home, home office and office. The U.S. corporate office in Bridgewater, NJ, was established on April 21, 1954 and currently markets many industrial products, home appliances and business products manufactured by its parent company, Brother Industries, Ltd. of Nagoya, Japan.
These products include an award-winning line of Multi-Function Center® machines and printers. Brother also provides the number-one line of facsimile machines in the U.S. and is the leader in electronic labeling, with its full line of P-touch® Electronic Labeling Systems. For more information you can visit the website at www.brother-usa.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Photography available upon request.
Secure On-Premise Web Conferencing now Possible with OmniJoin Private Cloud
With Web and video conferencing solutions making it to the center page, there is a tussle as companies compete with each other to sell their wares. Brother International Corporation joins the bustle with its OmniJoin Private Cloud, a secure, on-premise conferencing solution that can be implemented without making a large upfront investment in expensive new hardware.
OmniJoin public cloud has been available since June 2012 and it claims to have more than met the needs of businesses that were looking for Web meetings with superior HD video and advanced collaboration tools. However, when businesses have to share sensitive financial or customer information at these meetings, privacy and security are at stake. OmniJoin Private Cloud provides the controlled environment required.
“Our Private Cloud will provide them the same level of superior functionality as our public cloud service, but with the control over performance, compliance and administration they desire," noted Bill Henderson, vice president at Brother International Corporation.
For businesses that need to meet various compliance standards and optimize the meeting experience by using their own servers, bandwidth, networks and security certificates, OmniJoin Private Cloud is a perfect fit. Like its public counterpart, it offers advanced video technology with high quality audio. All Web, VoIP, and video conferencing data is transmitted over encrypted connections with security features. In addition there are extra levels of security for control and compliance if the company chooses to utilize its own servers.
In addition to allowing advanced administrator functionality, OmniJoin Private Cloud automatically controls software updates and upgrades. No special hardware is required for installation and operation; hence implementation and maintenance is easy.
By now offering two versions of the OmniJoin service, Brother can cater to the needs of a larger section of customers by providing a variety of Web conferencing solutions that are scalable, flexible and affordable for customers.