These days, Telepsychiatry is trending in the healthcare sector due to a rise in the incidence of mental health disorders. According to the report of the WHO, currently, around 450 million people are suffering from mental or neurological disorders all across the globe. Increasing acceptance for telepsychiatry among both doctors and patients is one of the factors that is increasing its demand. The time and cost of traveling are saved, most of the people are preferring to get treatment by telemedicine. Telepsychiatry services are available at the fingertips and also saves the time of consultation and thereby boosting the demand for telepsychiatry.
Telepsychiatry: a part of telemedicine
Telepsychiatry types of health care services and facility that offer treatment from a distance with the help of technology such as videoconferencing. It is a part of telemedicine, which embraces psychiatric therapy, evaluations, patient medication management, and education. Telepsychiatry gives the option of direct interactions between patients and the psychiatrist.
It is used for different types of therapies such as individual, family, or group therapy. It also offers facilities such as session recording in form of images or audio-video files, for later reviewing the file. With the help of this technology, patients from remote places can also be treated.
Effectiveness of Telepsychiatry
Most of the patients, psychiatrists, and other professionals find it satisfactory with the services offered and the accessibility of Telepsychiatry. It is considered equivalent to in-person care. All age groups including children, adolescents as well as older people find it convenient to talk and share their problems with the medical professional virtually. The accuracy of diagnosis, treatment process and the quality of care provided in Telepsychiatry are acceptable by the patients. For those patients who suffer from anxiety disorders or some serious mental disorders, telepsychiatry is a good option to get treatment remotely.
Benefits of Telepsychiatry
- It brings medical care at the door of the patient.
- There is no delay in the care and follow-up.
- Avoids the traveling of patients to visit the doctors.
- Patients can conveniently access the services.
- Saves the money for long-distance transportation.
Limitations of Telepsychiatry
- There is no face-to-face interaction between doctors and patients.
- Patients are more worried regarding telepsychiatry because of privacy issues.
- Disruption of internet connectivity may occur during the treatment sessions that will reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.
- As each country has separate laws and Telepsychiatry is reducing the fine line between medicine and technology.
Telepsychiatry can be done in different settings
Telepsychiatry can be practiced in a variety of settings such as in hospitals, nursing homes, private practice, schools, or military treatment centers. According to their convenience, patients can take video or audio appointment. After the consultation, they can be shared with relevant information like the recording of consultation and e-prescriptions.
The sub-specialties of Telepsychiatry
When the psychiatric treatment is given to the patients in the home or other private settings is commonly called home-based telepsychiatry. It only requires internet service and a webcam. According to the interest and convenience of the patients, more psychiatrists are adopting this method of treatment. Home-based telepsychiatry is useful for elderly and disabled persons.
It is also called routine telepsychiatry. It provides behavioral health care to the people. Psychiatrists are remotely consulted for the management of medication, supervision, or for assessment.
Telepsychiatry when used to prove counseling facilities to prisoners remotely, it is called as forensic telepsychiatry. These facilities include psychiatric assessment, suicide watch, medication consultation, etc.
Telepsychiatry consultation is used for any emergency psychiatric patients like suicidal, homicidal, depressed, manic, or depressed for their evaluation and counseling. On-demand telepsychiatry is also called crisis telepsychiatry
Effect of COVID-19 on Telepsychiatry
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, which is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the novel virus SARS-coV-2. Almost every country has taken essential measures like complete lockdown, social distancing, large scale quarantine, etc. in order to prevent the spread of the virus. The complete lockdown has had a negative impact on the mental health of the people locked in homes. At the same time, those patients who were already suffering from any health problems were unable to visit hospitals. Thereby the demand for telemedicine including telepsychiatry has increased in the pandemic.
The Telepsychiatry Market has been witnessing swift growth due to rising awareness about mental health and increasing demand for treatments of mental health among end-users. The many advantages associated with the adoption of telepsychiatry including better continuity of care and follow-up treatments, almost no delays in care, reduction in need of transportation, and the no need to wait long hours at hospitals, are aiding in the telepsychiatry market growth.
Information Technology and telecommunication equipment are also used to provide medical diagnoses even from a distance, and Telepsychiatry is exploiting it properly to provide better treatment facilities especially to patients suffering from mental health-related problems. Besides, it also removes the barrier and rural communities can also get benefitted.