Vancouver-based startup Medeo, the video chat platform that helps doctors visit their patients virtually, has partnered up with non-profit AnxietyBC to offer improved treatment for anxiety.
It looks like a pretty helpful partnership, and for their part Medeo already has over 400 doctors using the platform, with 200 new patients joining everyday. The startup was cofounded by UBC commerce graduate, Ryan Wilson.
Medeo and AnxietyBC said that “mental illness doesn’t discriminate”: a study conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Association in 2013 reported that 20 percent of Canadians will experience mental illnesses in their lifetime. Medeo says thus far its platform has seen three of the most common four reasons for seeing practitioners are mental health-related, including anxiety and depresseion.
“AnxietyBC is excited to collaborate with Medeo to implement diagnostic and management best practices into the Medeo platform,” said AnxietyBC’s Amir Rasheed. “Providing physicians access to evidence based diagnosis and treatment of anxiety is a key objective of AnxietyBC.”
The Anxiety Disorders Association of British Columbia (AnxietyBC™) is a non profit organization which was started in 1999 to increase awareness about anxiety disorders.
One of the largest barriers to mental health management is the stigma that exists around it. Several journalists and Canadian television personalities like Michael Landsberg often stress this through social media. In case of the outspoken host of TSN’s Off The Record, he uses Twitter to engage followers with mental health issues through a campaign called #SickNotWeak.
Being behind a computer or tablet can help patients open up about their health. It’s a way to communicate that can reduce anxiety or fear, enabling patients to get the help they need in a way that is natural to them, said AnxietyBC.
“Anxiety is a condition that can affect your entire life.” said Dr. Matthew Chow, a psychiatrist who has used Medeo to connect with patients. “Virtual care technology like Medeo can have a very positive effect on the management of mental health.”
Medeo said in a release that it makes it possible for someone with anxiety to not have to leave a comfortable place such as home, yet still speak face-to-face with a physician or counsellor over a computer or mobile device. All BC residents can sign up at Medeo.ca. If the patient’s own healthcare provider offers Medeo-based care, he or she can be connected with that physician. If not, he or she will be connected to one of the other general practitioners available at the time who can provide guidance and referrals to mental healthcare practitioners if appropriate