If you told me last year that web-base psychotherapy would gain traction I wouldn’t have believed you. That was before I met Mark Goldenson, CEO of Breakthrough, a silicon valley based web startup that matches patient and therapist through a secure online portal. Breakthrough clients can review a therapist’s qualifications and fees, view sample video, and initiate therapy by video or phone.
In a 2.0 world marked by clouds, hives and democratized healthcare, Breakthrough is cultivating one-on-one relationships through improved access to mental health services. Everyone should be talking about this.
Goldenson made the TechCrunch 50 this past fall and maintained his continence before the likes of Tim O’Reilly, Kevin Rose and other tech luminaries. You can check out the coverage in Wired and Forbes.
The road to viable online teletherapy is littered with skeletons of those who were either ahead of the parade or didn’t have the technical support of Breakthrough. But telehealth has reached a tipping point. And Breakthrough may be there to seize the moment and tap the 2/3 of America’s 58 million with mental illness too stigmatized to seek help in person.
I’d like to say I discovered Mark Goldenson but it was he who discovered me after I delivered a lunchtime keynote on social media at this year’s American Telemedicine Association meeting in Palm Springs. He’s a pretty sharp guy. And if the fervency of his questions is any measure of his capacity to lead, Breakthrough may be worth keeping and eye on.
BreakThrough is continuing to move forward with its teletherapy model for matching psychiatric patients with specialists through streaming video connection. Most of the company's early successes have been the accolades lavished upon its CEO, Mark Goldenson, but little news has emerged about the Silicon Valley startup's experiences in the trenches. I would be particularly interested to hear about the company's experiences negotiating reimbursement with providers. More investigation seems to be in order, but its generally encouraging to see telehealth and telemedicine can play in Silicon Valley.