Heal, the maker of an app for booking and processing device-driven physician house calls and other virtual care services, announced today that is has launched a new telepsychology service for California residents.
Heal Teletherapy will connect Heal's users to a licensed clinical psychologist via telehealth video chat. The virtual visits will cost $69 per 20 minutes, according to the company. Although Heal isn't yet taking insurance for the service, it notes that "many large California employers are covering the cost of Heal Teletherapy."
A representative for Heal told MobiHealthNews that the company is also planning to expand these services out of California and into its existing key markets down the road.
WHAT'S THE IMPACT?
It's little secret that coronavirus-driven social isolation is taking a steady toll on many people's mental well-being, and doubly so for those who may have had a prior behavioral health condition. By launching in California, Heal said that it's making its service available to as many as 40 million people, all alongside the other remote-health offerings available through its platform.
"With Heal’s unique approach, Heal primary care doctors and Heal psychologists work together hand-in-hand to coordinate and optimize care plans for the best outcomes across patients’ physical and mental health," the company wrote in its announcement. "Heal is launching this program to help people manage the anxiety and stress of job loss, social isolation, financial concerns, family concerns or other mental and behavioral health issues brought on by or magnified by the COVID-19 crisis."
THE LARGER TREND
Suffice it to say that Heal isn't alone in addressing these needs. Several other digital health and remote-care services have also stepped up to expand or launch mental health offerings over the past couple of months.
Some, like Medici and XRHealth, have highlighted new demand driven by the disease during recent funding rounds, while a few leading digital therapeutics companies have been able to conditionally release unapproved products, thanks to FDA emergency policies.
ON THE RECORD
“The fear and uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic is triggering or exacerbating mental health such as stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression for millions of Americans," Nick Desai, CEO of Heal, told MobiHealthNews in an email statement. "The unique benefit of Heal Teletherapy is for patients who also use Heal for their primary care, their doctor and therapist can coordinate care for optimal results.”