Telemedicine in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Action 2

Telemedicine in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Action

Reinhard Martens, a specialist in pediatric and adolescent psychiatry, is sitting in a therapy room. Photo: Robert Michael / Archival Image

(Photo: Robert Michael / zb / dpa)

Doctors may also have a healing effect from a distance. Telemedicine is considered a model of the future, especially for the supply of the village. But rather just as a supplement to classical counseling.

Dresden (dpa / sn) – In German children's and adolescent psychiatry, young patients first take care of telemedicine. For this purpose, Reinhard Martens, resident specialist from Pirne, Weisswasser, opened an outpatient internship practice. The project was presented on Wednesday in the presence of Health Minister Sachsen, Barbara Klepsch (CDU). The German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, headquartered in Berlin, sees this as a good addition to other offers.

Lack of experts will be compensated by a new and sophisticated concept of care, said Simona Hartmann, director of the responsible health insurance project and the Kassenärztlicher Association. According to the Ministry of Health, the Weisswasser region is clearly not well represented in this area. For meetings with an outpatient child and an adolescent psychiatrist, patients would have to travel far. It's changing now. According to Klepsch, children and adolescents with psychiatric illnesses can now receive high-quality outpatient care.

In the project, Martens collaborates with white water therapists in video conferencing and delegates specialist services to them. It is also connected to the patient through the screen, where the first contact is always personal. Through co-operation with the therapist, the doctor should facilitate the treatment of additional patients in the profession. Therapists provide on-site care. The team consists of people with medical, therapeutic or social degrees.

"Therapists are preparing a doctor's discussion by using tests, explaining to the patients and their parents about the treatment steps, or taking care of them directly in the family and social environment," says the presentation of the project. The same therapist is still a specialist because it has conducted the therapy in parallel and could turn around at any time. Another advantage: the patient does not have to travel long distances to the specialist.

The German Medical Association greeted the project. "We are happy to have done doctors who are progressively advancing on this issue," said Erik Bodendieck of the German news agency. He is the head of the Telematic Committee of the German Medical Association, and at the same time President of the State Medical Association of Saxony. Telemedicine procedures have been established for several years in different areas or tested in model projects. Finally, investigate and evaluate opportunities and risks.

According to Bodendieck, digitization will change all areas of medicine. "In the first place ethical issues have to be clarified, and the quality of health care must be a top priority." Despite all the technical achievements, patients should have the possibility of personal contact between the physician and the patient without any major obstacles in the future.

"This project shows that with the help of sophisticated telemedicine approaches it is possible to offer specialist care in rural areas – even for diseases that require very intensive and frequent patient contacts," said Rainer Striebel, CEO of AOK Plus. The aim is to strengthen the medical care in the Free State in new and modern ways, "said Barmer from Germany, Fabian Magerl.

Christine Enenkel, DAK's headmaster, said telemedicine allows doctors to optimize their practice. "It leaves more time for small patients, who are dependent on direct contact with the doctor and are now getting timely access."

"Only if we allow new ideas, we will control the problems of medical care in the village," said Silke Heinke, director of the Ersatzkassen Association in the Free State.