The COVID-19 pandemic spurred a broad adoption of tele-medicine. Forced by circumstance at the beginning of the pandemic, patients, providers, policymakers and even financial markets became enthusiastic adopters of healthcare by video appointment. While many specialties have since reverted to in-person care, tele-medicine is likely to prove a lasting change in the field of psychiatry.
Of all medical specialties, psychiatry is best placed to take full advantage of tele-medicine. Unlike most medical specialists, psychiatrists typically don't require an in-person physical exam to diagnose and treat disorders. This allows them and their patients to take full advantage of tele-medicine's benefits.
At Apraku Psychiatry, all appointments take place by secure video. We see five core benefits of this approach for patients:
Research confirms that tele-psychiatry is effective and increases access to care. While tele-psychiatry obviously increases access at the population level, some may feel that it is an inferior substitute for in-person treatment. However, recent studies show that there is no compromise: outcomes are comparable to those observed in more traditional settings. The only exception may be patients with acute presentations who require additional support or a higher level of care. To read more about the evidence base for tele-psychiatry, check out peer-reviewed studies such as this, this and this.