Talkspace enables patients to chat instantly with a professional therapist whenever they want, offering treatment without time restrictions or the need to make an appointment.
Just like other areas of healthcare, telecommunication innovations are changing the face of the therapy services, and we’ve already seen startups such as iCouch offer counseling via video chat and instant messaging. Now Talkspace is enabling patients to chat instantly with a professional therapist whenever they want, offering treatment without time restrictions or the need to make an appointment.
Rather than the weekly face-to-face meeting that therapy sessions traditionally use, Talkspace leverages smartphones to keep subscribers in touch with a designated psychologist through text messaging and video chat. The company’s Unlimited Messaging Therapy costs USD 25 a week and enables members to anonymously and privately message a licensed therapist as many times as they’d like, whenever and wherever they need to. Through the Talkspace app, users can also take advantage of free public forums as well as one-off live video therapy at USD 29 for 30 minutes.
Considering an estimated 500 million people live with mental health problems globally, and not all of them seek help, this kind of anonymous and on-demand service could ensure that those who need counseling can get it discreetly, instantly and cheaply. Could a similar model be used to complement telephone helplines, or even GP visits?