Think Research, a developer of virtual care technology and clinical treatment protocols, has partnered with the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) to make its virtual care platform available to OPA psychologists in Ontario.
“While COVID-19’s immediate health concerns are significant, mental health issues may prove to be the long-term sleeper complication.”
The move is intended to help OPA members offer virtual mental health consultations to their clients while minimizing exposure to COVID-19. Think Research is also offering free psychological services to support elderly people in isolation, through the OPA Disaster Response Network.
“While COVID-19’s immediate health concerns are significant, mental health issues may prove to be the long-term sleeper complication for Canadians,” said Sylvain Roy, a neuropsychologist, and former president of the OPA. “People currently being treated for mental health conditions need to access care to maintain their well being. During a pandemic, they need our support and engagement more than ever.”
Think Research is a healthcare software startup that develops tools and content for clinicians to deliver evidence-based care to patients. The company’s point-of-care decision support tools are targeted toward healthcare providers to improve outcomes for patients, save clinicians’ time, and reduce administrative burdens and costs. In 2017, the Government of Ontario invested $5 million in Think Research to help expand the company’s platform.
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OPA said shifting to a virtual visit model will make it easier for people to access psychologists and other clinicians providing mental healthcare. It will also play a role in reducing the need for in-person visits to the home, in-person visits to primary care physicians and other specialists, or for hospitalizations.
The OPA predicts that digital access could help their members support between 20 and 30 patients per week. The OPA committed to transfer up to 100,000 patients into virtual care within a one-year period.
“During the pandemic, virtual visits have emerged as a logical choice to protect patients, staff, healthcare workers, and support staff,” said Sachin Aggarwal, CEO of Think Research. “We’re pleased to partner with the OPA to ensure that people can still get appropriate support for their mental healthcare needs, particularly during this difficult time, as we continue practicing social distancing to reduce in-person contact.”