Telepsychiatry app LARKR launches with multi-user sessions, counseling for minors

By Dave Muoio
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Mental health-focused video consultation platform LARKR has launched in the Apple App Store. The service employs state-certified therapists across the country, and supports multi-user, multi-location conferences to enable group therapy sessions.

“When I learned of the massive void leaving 60 percent of the 50 million Americans who suffer from mental illness without care, I felt compelled to create a practical and effective solution,” CEO and cofounder Shawn Kernes, who previously held positions in StubHub and eBay, said in a statement. “LARKR breaks through roadblocks to care by providing meaningful therapy for anyone who needs it, at the moment they need it, even if they live in a remote area with no local therapists.”

After downloading the app and answering a few questions, LARKR users can access 50-minute live therapy sessions on-demand for a flat fee of $85 per session. Along with pick-up sessions, users can schedule recurring sessions from the same therapist without minimum commitments, monthly subscription plans, or other more involved payment systems. The developers noted in the statement that LARKR is currently seeking an additional 10,000 qualified mental health specialists from all 50 states for employment in its budding service.

LARKR’s platform is fully HIPAA compliant, and is staffed by confirmed licensed therapists. Along with multi-user sessions, the service also supports consultations with patients under the age of 18 years.

While LARKR is making mental health the primary focus of its platform, several of the telehealth programs already active in the US offer behavioral care within their suite of services. For instance, MDLive announced this February that its network of more than 1,300 mental health professionals are now able to offer care within all 50 states. More recently, AbleTo secured $36.6 million in financing to scale its behavioral health coaching and therapy platform to more large national health plans and employers. Attention to behavioral telehealth also seems to be growing among regulators, with a recently released report noting an increase in states’ legislation specifically focused on this area of remote care since last year.