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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on August 9, 2010

A new study has found that psychiatrists can accurately assess a patient’s mental health by viewing web-based or e-mail files.

Specifically, University of California at Davis investigators found psychiatrists could diagnose and counsel individuals after viewing videotaped interviews that are sent via telecommunications lines.

The approach, called asynchronous telepsychiatry, uses store-and-forward technology, in which medical information is retrieved, stored and transmitted for later review using e-mail or Web applications.

It has been used extensively for specialties like dermatology, with photos of skin conditions sent to dermatologists, or X-rays sent to radiologists for assessment.

However, the current study is the first to examine store-and-forward technology for psychiatry, said Peter Yellowlees, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at UC-Davis and the study’s lead author.

“A Feasibility Study of the Use of Asynchronous Telepsychiatry for Psychiatric Consultations” is published in the August issue of the journal Psychiatric Services.

“We’ve demonstrated that this approach is feasible and very efficient,” said Yellowlees, who is an internationally recognized expert in telepsychiatry.

“Using store-and-forward technology allows us to provide opinions to primary-care doctors much more quickly than would usually be the case.”

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/08/09/internet-counseling-aids-mental-health/16576.html



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