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How telehealth intervention prevents suicide

Mimi Winsberg, MD, chief medical officer at Brightside Health, discusses new data on how telehealth intervention is efficient at reducing suicidal ideation when implemented correctly.

In this interview, Mimi Winsberg, MD, chief medical officer at Brightside Health outlines new data from the study, "Telehealth-Supported Decision-making Psychiatric Care for Suicidal Ideation: Longitudinal Observational Study."

Telehealth has multiple advantages in preventing suicidal ideation (SI), accorrding to Winsberg. The first is access. Telehealth care can reach patients wherever they are, whether that's their home or anywhere else.

"At Brightside we use innovative tools combined in our telehealth platform to offer things like clinical decision support to our providers at the time of the visit," Winsberg said.

Symptoms were analyzed during the study, showcasing how SI is not always linked to depression. The cognitive symptoms of depression were linked to SI more often than the physical symptom. Hopelessness, inability to feel pleasure, and self-hate were common symptoms of SI.

Winsberg saw that Brightside's platform was able to drastically reduce SI in patients. Almost 50% of Brightside's patients experienced SI. In many of these instances, SI was reduced after receiving care from Brightside.

"Telehealth can adequately assess suicidal ideation and the symptom if it has the right tools built in," Winsberg said. Though patients with SI are not often treated with telehealth, the study shows that telehealth can be effective when given the proper tools.