Telemedicine For Addiction Treatment? Picture Remains Fuzzy

Prestige Clinics in Munster, Ind., a telemedicine consultation takes place in what looks like a standard exam room with a computer. On Tuesdays, Joshi’s  patients have video chats with a psychologist who lives 140 miles away.

Elizabeth Hall is one of those patients. “The only issue I really had with it was [that] it would freeze, which is kind of inconvenient and a little bit awkward,” she said. “When it freezes you’re like, ‘What do I do? Just sit here and stare at the lady?’”

But she said she appreciates the counseling. She’s a former nurse’s assistant and has been going to Joshi for back pain and to treat a heroin addiction for about a year.

Project Echo, a resource for clinicians seeking virtual training tools. Zarse envisions a place where doctors from around the state can call in to video chat and walk through cases with trained psychiatrists like herself.

This story is part of a partnership that includes WFYI,Side Effects Public, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

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