Talkspace: Providing Health Care Online

The development of technology—first computers, then the Internet, and now smart phones—is rapidly revolutionizing our lives. With access to information at our fingertips, it is not surprising that the health care industry is becoming more and more online-oriented.

Talkspace, founded by Oren Frank and his wife in 2012, is one such health care business that provides e-therapy for patients suffering from mental illnesses and disorders. Through Talkspace, patients and clinicians are able to connect via text-based chat box and Skype video and phone call. This service is currently used by approximately half a million people and over 1,000 mental-health care providers.

Talkspace is cheaper than the standard therapy. It has various plans that you can pick from depending on your budget. One plan is as low as $32 a week, allowing text-based conversation once a day; another offers conversation twice a day and one face-to-face session each month. These conversations are asynchronous, meaning, you time to think about and construct your response, unlike in traditional therapy where you would have to respond back immediately. Some people find this asynchronous approach very useful.

Such online-based therapies have the potential to reach a wider audience and impact more lives. For instance, a study on mental health of veterans found a 25% decrease in hospitalization rate after exposure to long-distance therapy compared to that before the exposure.

Talkspace is very flexible and user-friendly. You can remain anonymous should you feel uncomfortable using your real name for any reason, personal or social. And it is user-friendly because it allows you to request a new therapist if you feel your therapist and you don’t have a right fit. After all, you really don’t want to dread a chat with your therapist.