Integrating Telepsychiatry with Electronic Medical Record Technology for Improved Rural Mental Health Care

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2007-00463
Amount: $350,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2502 CORONA RD, Columbia, MO, 65203
DUNS: 780247446
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jason Cafer
 Founder and CEO
 (573) 529-9893
Business Contact
 Jason Cafer
Title: President-CEO
Phone: (573) 529-9893
Research Institution
IconoPsych Care, LLC is working toward commercialization of web-based mental health services which integrate the practice of video telepsychiatry with electronic medical record keeping. This research and development effort is in response to three problems: 1) the shortage of mental health providers available in rural areas , 3) stigma related to seeking mental health services, 3) the need for medical recordkeeping technology that enables improved communication between patients and mental health practitioners. Despite large rural mental health needs, very few rural communities have access to mental health services in their area. Over half of the counties in the United States have no psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers. Rural residents travel much longer distances to obtain health care services. Otherwise, rural communities must pay high costs for mental health professionals to travel to their local clinics. IconoPsych is positioned to be the first company to offer an "online clinic" video conference portal for mental health. Several large studies have found telepsychiatry and telecounseling by videoconference equivalent in outcome and patient satisfaction to face-to-face encounters. IconoPsych is pairing the videoconference functionality with an electronic health record, embedding the teleconferencer within the patient's electronic chart. Such a set-up will enable processes that promise to improve quality and efficiency of care, even in the context of traditional face-to-face mental health clinic visits. The patient is able to complete online questionnaires prior to the visit, e.g., from home. Questionnaire answers are formatted for use by the clinician, conveying the patient's history in a comprehensive and accurate fashion. Also, the clinician may post information for online access by the patient, facilitating understanding of the treatment plan and continuity of care. IconoPsych's "completely portable" online portal is to be called HomePsych. Although one or both parties are likely to connect from a clinic or community center, the patient and doctor could connect from their respective homes, given a high speed internet connection and web cam is available. If patients are given the option of seeing a psychiatrist from home, the risk of being seen entering a mental clinic is eliminated. This would allow patients to overcome the stigma barrier to seeking help.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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