Purpose of review
Patients, providers, and trainees should understand the current types of asynchronous technologies that can be used to enhance the delivery and accessibility of mental health care. Asynchronous telepsychiatry (ATP) removes the need for real time communication between the clinician and patient, which improves efficiency and enables quality specialty care. ATP can be applied as distinct consultative and supervisory models in clinician-to-clinician, clinician-to-patient, and patient-to-mobile health settings.
This review is based on research literature and the authors’ clinical and medical training, using experiences with asynchronous telepsychiatry from before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Our studies demonstrate that ATP provides positive outcomes in the clinician-to-patient model with demonstrated feasibility, outcomes and patient satisfaction. One author’s medical education experience in the Philippines during COVID-19 highlights the potential to utilize asynchronous technology in areas with limitations to online learning. We emphasize the need to teach media skills literacy around mental health to students, coaches, therapists, and clinicians when advocating for mental well-being. Several studies have demonstrated the feasibility of incorporating asynchronous e-tools such as self-guided multimedia and artificial intelligence for data collection at the clinician-to-clinician and patient-to-mobile health level. In addition, we offer fresh perspectives on recent trends in asynchronous telehealth in wellness, applying concepts such as “tele-exercise” and “tele-yoga.”
Asynchronous technologies continue to be integrated into mental health care services and research. Future research must ensure that the design and the usability of this technology puts the patient and provider first.