Talkspace has been setting the tech world ablaze with its innovative idea of offering therapy by way of video chat. Although it is still technically in its startup phase the company is gearing up to start making its services available to employers. Talkspace recently hired on Neil Leibowitz to take on the mantle of chief medical officer. Neil is the former senior medical director at UnitedHealth. The hiring comes on the heel of Talkspace building out its enterprise business and mulling a potential IPO.
As of right now the company is generating several million dollars in revenue thanks to its 1 million users paying for online therapy services. Talkspace allows users to talk to a therapist online or message a mental health professional for a lower fee. Check out on youtube to learn more.
The addition of Neil opens a lot of doors for Talkspace. For instance, with him on board the company’s physicians will now be legally able to start prescribing medicines. However, psychiatrists are only allowed to prescribe medication via the video tool according to state and federal guidelines and regulations. With the opiod epidemics sweeping across the nation many people wonder if the company will avoid prescribing opiates. The company has yet to decide if there are any that it wouldn’t prescribe.
Oren Frank says Talkspace’s ultimate goal is providing therapy for all. Something he feels is as imperative as any other global health problem. Around 20 percent of Americans suffer from mental illness in a given year. Talkspace wants to be part of the solution to the problem of mental illness in the U.S. specifically.
Oren Frank also talks a lot about the high unemployment rate for those living with mental illnesses. The World Health Organization reports that depression is the leading cause of disability throughout the world. In addittion, several million Americans, develop a mental health issue severe enough to interfere with or limit their daily lives.