Video tablets provided to veterans for telehealth increase services

The Veterans Health Administration 2016 telehealth initiative to distribute video-enabled tablets to veterans with mental healthcare access barriers appears to have increased overall continuity of mental health services, according to a recent study published in Psychiatry Online.

For the study, VA officials distributed telehealth tablets to 728 patients who had been diagnosed with mental health conditions. Researchers then compared the patients to a control group of 1,020 patients on the basis of sociodemographic characteristics, mental health use and diagnoses as well as wireless coverage.

Compared to the control group, tablet recipients experienced an increase of 1.94 psychotherapy encounters, an increase of 1.05 medication management visits and an 18.54 percent increase in their likelihood of receiving mental healthcare necessary for continuity of care. Additionally, telehealth recipients experienced a 20.24 percent decrease in their missed opportunity rate in the six-month period after receiving a tablet.

More articles on telehealth:
Humana expands telehealth offerings
Texas Health Aetna to provide free virtual behavioral healthcare services
Stroke patients to benefit from new teleneurology equipment at New Mexico hospital

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