Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Web Secret #295: TalkSession

A Wall Street trader has created TalkSession, a new telemedicine platform.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I found out about this new website by stealing and reading my teenage son's Wired magazine. Wired is a somewhat dense and very male magazine that reports on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy and politics. I love Wired.

But I digress. As Wired explains: "TalkSession [is] a website that connects patients to mental health providers. The site lets users vet caregivers based on needs and specialties, and a diagnostic patient questionnaire seeks compatibility in communications styles and outside interests." So if you like to ski and your therapist likes to ski, you should have a match made in Heaven...

The article continues, "Then patient and practitioner connect via TalkSession's video platform... There are hurdles. For one, doctors' licenses aren't portable between states...And fewer than 20 states force private insurance to reimburse telemedicine." There are other issues. It is unclear if the site welcomes licensed social workers or LMFTs. Every clinician pictured on the site (and all the clients,) looks hip and beautiful. People of color are notably absent - at least visually.

Criticism aside, I encourage anyone in the mental health field, including clinics, substance abuse treatment facilities and individual practitioners to study this site. There is much to learn from a marketing perspective. And there is no doubt in my mind that video platforms are here to stay, and may grow into the preferred service delivery method in the very near future.

Are you ready?

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