Startup provides virtual therapy
DotCom Therapy revolutionizes therapy service
Emily Purdom and Rachel Robinson were confident that DotCom Therapy could revolutionize treatment experiences when they visited clients in the country’s largest rural school district in Alaska–not because the virtual therapy service would spare them from the bone-chilling cold, but because their business would dramatically increase speech and occupational therapy, as well as mental health services, for underserved communities. The format, available via internet access, increased visits from about five to more than 75 times a year.
“We knew that we wanted to bridge several things through technology,” Purdom says. “We wanted to connect therapists with people who needed them and provide higher quality care while increasing [the field’s] productivity.”
By using an encrypted video-conferencing platform as virtual therapy rooms, the 2-year-old startup not only eradicates distance barriers and instills flexibility between service seekers and therapists, but it also lends itself to a higher quality of care because the company can recruit therapists based on merit and not whether the therapist can relocate, according to Robinson.
DotCom Therapy also tackles another common obstacle facing practitioners.
“We are breaking down the stigma of receiving therapy and introducing it in a way, through technology application, that allows for added acceptance,” Purdom says. “Many of the high schools we serve report that students are more willing to go to a therapy session when they can step outside the classroom and work with the therapist on an iPad or computer.”
What began as a two-woman trek to Alaska has resulted in an accessible, far-reaching service run by a multi-disciplinary team.
“It’s about opening up a world of opportunities to kids [and patients] who have had very limited resources in the past,” Purdom says.
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