As World Mental Health Day approaches, demand for virtual mental health services still remains high as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented demand for digital solutions for the delivery of safe and effective mental health treatment such as telemedicine. Even now, seven months after the pandemic started, demand for these services remains high, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Kathryn Whitney, MSc, Director of Thematic Analysis, comments: “A report by GlobalData in August showed that telemedicine companies saw significant increases in mobile app downloads and website visits for their platforms between March and June 2020.”

GlobalData analyzed data from PrioriData to assess the number of downloads for the thera-LINK physician app during the pandemic. In Q2 2020, there were approximately 4,400 downloads compared to just 635 downloads for the entirety of 2019. Additionally, there were approximately 15,700 average monthly visits to the company’s website, Thera-link.com, in the six months prior to March 2020. Between March and June 2020, the number of average monthly visits increased to over 310,000. Additional analysis in October shows that visits to the site have remained high, with an average of approximately 403,000 per month. While downloads for the app remained high in Q3, there were fewer compared to Q2 2020, at 2,900.

Furthermore, GlobalData’s survey of 267 specialists from the US, Europe, the UK and Japan found that 73% of specialists indicated that their use of telemedicine had increased as a result of the pandemic.

Whitney adds: “Increased use of virtual care is particularly true for mental health services, where a shift has been witnessed to remote delivery of therapy. There is an abundance of evidence showing that digital interventions are as effective as in-person treatment of mental health disorders, including telemedicine, digital therapeutics, wearable technology, and virtual reality.”

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