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Blog // Connect Michigan

Using Technology to Bridge Gap in Michigan Mental Healthcare

By Wil Payton

A recent University of Michigan Center for Healthcare Research Transformation Brain Graphicstudy has indicated that Michigan has a significant number of residents who have experienced bouts of depression. Economic conditions, lack of healthcare access in rural areas, and unemployment have contributed to expanded caseloads for mental healthcare professionals, who are using technology like video conferencing to meet the demand.

Below is an excerpt from a Kaiser Health News article on the subject:

Commercial telemedicine companies also are increasing access to psychiatrists and other medical specialists. Teladoc, which claims to be the nation’s largest telemedicine provider, says more than 100,000 Michiganians subscribe to its service, which in most cases is paid for by their employers.

The U-M program has patient care coordinators in parts of the state that don’t have enough psychiatrists. The program’s psychiatrists carry pagers so that coordinators can reach them by phone if a local physician is in need of advice.

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