[Austin, TX.] June 19, 2018 — In response to the country’s mental health crisis and what we have learned from more than 1 million patient interactions annually, UPIC Health is adding a video telebehavioral health service that can serve the most at-risk patients and set them on the path to wellness.
UPIC has partnered with One Touch Video Chat to build the UPIC Video Connect mobile app and licensed their video telehealth platform.
The scalable video social work (VSW) platform connects patients with counselors, licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs), and other providers through a pioneering automated video distribution system. This ensures that patients in crisis will not have to wait when they are most in need of counseling.
“Not only will our team be available during scheduled visits,” said UPIC Health CEO Mary Tucker, “but if a patient is in immediate crisis and their counselor is unavailable, a secondary counselor is only seconds away as they will be seamlessly routed to support through our service.”
Against the backdrop of a mental health crisis in this country, from teen suicide to mass shootings to new revelations of abuse against women, it’s clear that women and teens are especially vulnerable when it comes to access, Tucker added.
“In addition to this, we have a serious gap in available providers from internists to primary care doctors to psychiatrists. The UPIC VSW will help fill the gap in care while also bringing more efficiency to the process” Tucker said. “We also know that youth and seniors alike are ready and willing to take advantage of this technology as long as it’s offered in an efficient accessible mode.”
More than 90 percent of the country’s youth want full electronic two-way communication with their provider, a recent study by Jefferson Health reports. Also, nearly nine out of 10 adults ages 40 and older said they would be comfortable using at least one type of telemedicine for themselves or an aging loved one, another recent study found.
The service will initially serve women and teens in sexual and reproductive health crisis but UPIC expects growth in populations from those suffering from the grip of addiction and the elderly.
“We very excited to work together with UPIC Health to take down the geographic and income barriers to reaching a behavioral health provider. The video telebehavioral mobile app allows convenience, access, and engagement,” notes One Touch Video Chat’s COO, Carrie Chitsey Wells.
This is a natural progression of UPIC’s Meaningful Engagement in Care model where patients can access services without leaving the home or office, a business model UPIC has pioneered since its inception in 2014. Already UPIC serves patients in 15 states and this new remote access application will aid in expanding the organization’s reach.
Pilot programs are in the works and the service soon will be widely available in Apple and Google app stores.