Adventist Health partners with Synchronous to provide AI-driven behavioral telehealth

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Adventist Health, a Sacramento area faith-based health system, announced this week that it was partnering with the artificial intelligence-driven behavioral telehealth company Synchronous Health.

Through the partnership, said Adventist, the organizations will codevelop behavioral health solutions to address community needs.

According to the companies, Adventist is already using the Synchronous Health platform to address trauma and burnout among its caregivers and to address depression and isolation among older adults, all of which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This partnership directly reflects the market’s need for our vision and solution of an entirely new model for delivering behavioral health and well-being services,” said Synchronous Health CEO Guy Barnard in a statement.

WHY IT MATTERS

The coronavirus crisis has triggered an uptick in concerns around mental health, particularly where healthcare workers are concerned.

In April, Adventist said, the health system started working with Synchronous to provide services targeting burnout for its 37,000 associates.

“Because our clinicians’ well-being is central to our mission, we needed an innovative solution, and we needed it fast. In Synchronous, we found a unique approach that allows us to quickly expand the care and support needed for our front-line workers,” said Bill Wing, Adventist Health president.

According to its website, Synchronous matches individuals with a provider, and provides customized frequency and intensity of support for virtual visits. It also uses its bot, “Karla,” to push strategies and innovations developed with a behavioral health specialist, and then measures the effectiveness of each interaction.

“By combining the benefits of human connection and technology, Synchronous can scale to serve more populations with broader reach, greater impact, and sustained improvements,” said Barnard.

Adventist and Synchronous also codeveloped and launched a program last month aimed at improving the well-being of older adults. The program, says the health system, includes physical and mental health assessments, along with telehealth services and facilitated access to community resources.

THE LARGER TREND

Behavioral telehealth use was on the rise even before the COVID-19 pandemic, with providers pointing to the accessibility of virtual care as a draw for patients.

The coronavirus crisis pushed the need even higher, with social distancing measures making patients increasingly reluctant to pursue in-person care. With depression and anxiety rates high among adults, many providers turned to telehealth as a viable option.

In May, psychiatrists reported being “pleasantly surprised” with the shift. Although some cited issues with diagnosis and connectivity, many said the rapid transition to relying on virtual care went smoothly.

ON THE RECORD

“Adventist Health shares our passion for creating better ways to care for the whole person. With our platform and Adventist Health’s expert clinical assets and deep-rooted community presence, we are delivering individualized, precision care to millions of people,” said Lisa Henderson, chief operating officer of Synchronous Health, in a statement.

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