Technological Considerations for the Delivery of Real-Time Child Telemental Healthcare

J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2016 Apr;26(3):192-7. doi: 10.1089/cap.2015.0043. Epub 2015 Oct 22.


Objective: In recent years, rapid advances in the sophistication and accessibility of new technologies for consumer use have been leveraged to meaningfully expand the scope of mental health services for youth. However, despite many potential benefits inherent in applying new technologies to improve the accessibility and quality of care, organizations and private providers looking to expand their services with telemental health (TMH) service options may find the broad range of software packages and hardware options daunting.

Methods: We summarize key considerations for adopting a videoteleconferencing (VTC) system, and provide recommendations for institutions and providers planning to launch TMH services at varying levels.

Results: Although there is currently no single combination of VTC software and equipment that works best for every provider, certain factors such as cost, ease of use, and system functionality contribute to the setup that may serve as the "best fit" for practitioners' and clients' needs.

Conclusions: Careful consideration of these system characteristics and their bearing on institutional functioning, quality of services, and client satisfaction and privacy prior to VTC installation can proactively reduce difficulties after TMH implementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Videoconferencing / instrumentation*
  • Videoconferencing / organization & administration*