Virtual psychiatry are two abstract words we literally cannot put a finger on.
Virtual psychiatry generally means consulting via the internet live in real time with a mental health care medical doctor–a psychiatrist or physician who specializes in mental health–who is a human (not an AI robot) using any means of audio-visual communication like Skype or Zoom at an agreed upon time.
As a physician with six months experience with technical issues using computers to communicate: internet too slow, lost meeting ID code; empty ‘virtual waiting rooms’, no audio just visual or vice versa (resorting to hand signals or holding up a piece of paper that says ‘Turn on on your audio microphone’)—I prefer a device called a telephone or phone for short.
Virtual mental health care / virtual psychiatrists are used commonly, especially since the COVID19 pandemic began.
As I often like things explained to me like I’m a 6 year old, what exactly is virtual psychiatry?
Practicing live mental health care using virtual psychiatry requires a psychiatrist and a patient, each with a good internet connection, a computer to access the internet, and a webcam. Notice I emphasize the word GOOD.
A bad internet connection on either computer results in all sorts of technical issues like video will not work and screens appear black; audio and talking will not work so you see the psychiatrist on your screen but do not hear them
A virtual psychiatry consult is scheduled in the same was you scheduled doctor’s appointments in the last 20 to 40 years (except no walk ins which my office does not accept, nor do you want since you don’t know if a coronavirus 19 positive patient or staff member is sitting there symptom free and contagious).
Let’s start with definitions
virtual [ˈvərCH(o͞o)əl] ADJECTIVE