Video chat services have grown significantly in popularity, both as a means of social connection and as a necessary aspect of business operations, during the pandemic.
Nine out of 10 adults said the Internet was “essential or important to them personally“during the pandemic, according to a Pew Research Center survey from April 2021. Perhaps equally telling, 4 in 10 said they had used video or digital technology in ways they had not before the pandemic. In total, 81% of Americans said they had used some version of video calling or conferencing at least once during the pandemic.
With increased familiarity with these types of platforms, their use for telehealth and telemedicine purposes has made it easier and easier to access those in need. A study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research qualified several ways in which mental health video consultations were perceived by patients in terms of comfort and sense of quality of service.
The availability of shorter wait times, a lower threshold for finding a mental health specialist, and maintaining familiar patterns of interaction and staff members were all seen as comparable to the prerequisites applied to in-person care. Therefore, it was concluded that telemental health was a welcome alternative to in-person appointments.
Additionally, a summary report 2020 published by the American Psychological Association found that, according to David Mohr, Ph.D., director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, as quoted in the report, “telehealth is essentially as effective as face – to face-to-face psychotherapy – and retention rates are higher.”