Innovative companies are changing the way traditional businesses have operated. One such company is Talkspace. Its current emphasis is online therapy. Instead of the traditional path of going in person to a therapist, the company provides an alternative method. People can speak over the phone with a therapist, utilize a video chat, or simply exchange texts. It is providing alternatives in the digital world for individuals who do not want to meet their therapist face to face. They may also feel like they do not have the time for an office visit, taking into consideration their busy schedule. This approach is not for everyone, but does meet the wants and needs of a significant part of the general population. People are feeling more and more comfortable with online communication of all kinds.
Recent personnel additions to the company seem to indicate a business plan aimed at expanding in additional directions. The company has hired its first chief medical officer. This appears to be part of an effort to expand its services to psychiatry. That would involve the prescription of medications which would involve insurance companies. So far the services for online therapy have not been covered by traditional insurance policies. Whether or not that will change remains to be seen. In any event, online therapy is meeting a need and will continue to grow in the future.
Another area where the company would like to expand is treatment with primary care physicians. This would provide a benefit for individuals who do not have the time or inclination to see their physician in person. It could certainly be utilized for follow up care after an office visit. Many patients want some follow up but do not want to go back to the office. The future possibilities are endless as online medicine takes off in a new and different world.
The easiest way to use online therapy is by text. It gives both the patient and the therapist the ability to have a conversation that is convenient to both parties. The patient can send messages whenever their schedule permits. This can mean on the bus or train while going to from work, during breaks and lunch at work, and at home. For the therapist, they can take time to analyze the texts and prepare a thoughtful response. Sometimes the texts will go back and forth quickly over a short period of time. Other times, there may be a day between responses. A service like Talkspace, which charges by the week, allows for such exchanges. The patient is not tied to a timed office visit.
The texts can go on for weeks if necessary, thus expanding the treatment possibilities to virtually any time and any place.
Online therapy meets the needs of certain individuals who otherwise would probably not receive therapy. For the therapists, it opens up a new source of clients. It also allows expansion of their practice. Talkspace provides the middle man who interviews the patient, and then matches them up with a therapist. This way both parties know that their texts are going to a real patient and a qualified therapist. The text messages are private and confidential. Online therapy opens up a whole new world for both patient and therapist.