Late last year, I reported mobile web video conferencing was expected to grow 250-fold by 2015. Not surprisingly, I suggested this would impact how a great many people conducted their work. To this end, the field of tele-psychiatry is now taking off. To understand, consider this statement from a professional using tele-confernecing to consult with his patients:
“We’ve had just over 60,000 patient encounters. To my knowledge, only six have refused to be seen via teleconferencing,” Fishkind said. “When it comes to mental health issues and the difficult things you need to talk about in a crisis, a lot of patients feel it’s less threatening and easier to be open and communicate via telemedicine.”
Fishkind said telepsychiatry is limited only by insurance reimbursements. As more insurance companies start to reimburse for telepsychiatry treatments at the same rate as they do for in-person visits, the emerging medical field will grow exponentially.
Let’s see: the patient prefers it; it’s easier for the doctor to see more patients; it’s more affordable; and it’ll cut down on travel time. My prediction: This is one trend that’s only going to grow in the near future.