This post will compare the services and features of two mental health care giants, Talkspace and Amwell. Talkspace is one of the most well-known platforms, specifically designed for mental health care. Amwell was launched with the aim of making all types of health care accessible through a digital space and has been in the business for a long period of time.
In the table below, you will be able to see firsthand the various similarities and differences between these two telemedicine platforms.
|Types of services||Therapy and Psychiatry||All types of health care|
|Pricing||Min 260 USD||Min 79 USD|
|Payment options||All major credit or debit cards, HSA, FSA||All major credit cards,HSA, FSA, HRA|
|Age group||13 years and above||Any age group|
· Mental health care is quick and easy
· It offers insurance coverage
· There are various types of therapy
· Online therapy may seem impersonal for some
· Some psychiatric medications cannot be prescribed
· It cannot be used in times of crisis or emergencies
· The healthcare can be accessed at any time
· It can be used from anywhere
· It offers insurance coverage
· It cannot be used in times of emergencies
· Doctors cannot order laboratory tests
· Some medications are not allowed to be prescribed
Talkspace was launched with the aim of making the process of mental health care easy and cost-effective. Through Talkspace, anyone can get quick access to a mental health professional unlike traditional mental health care where the waiting period might be very long. Talkspace was launched in 2012 and now serves more than 1.5 million clients every day.
Picture credit: Talkspace
The founders of Talkspace are Roni and Oren Frank who launched the platform as a solution for the problems they faced while seeking therapy, namely couples counseling. While Talkspace merely started out with couples counseling and group therapy, it has now grown to include teens therapy as well as psychiatry services.
Talkspace can be accessed from anywhere and everywhere as it operates completely online. It also offers therapy through several formats from which users can choose the option that suits their preferences the most. Both the therapy and psychiatry services in Talkspace are also eligible for insurance coverage.
Amwell was initially called American Well and founded by Dr. Ido Schoenberg and Dr. Roy Schoenberg. The brothers launched the platform to make healthcare, especially for non-emergency situations, easy and flexible for everyone. In Amwell, anybody can access a health care professional at any point of the day.
Picture credit: Amwell
The platform uses a subscription model through which the user or patient pays a certain amount of money per month for continuous top-priority access to a physician. In addition to general health services, Amwell also allows behavioral health services such as therapy and also psychiatry.
Amwell can be used through any web browser or even through an app. Furthermore, there are also kiosks through which the users or patients can use the platform. The quality of the services provided in Amwell is also guaranteed and have been recognized and accredited by the American Telemedicine Association.
Best features of Talkspace
Talkspace certainly brings plenty of talking points to the conversation. This platform has a wide range of features that almost anyone will certainly enjoy and can use to improve their mental health. Some of the best features of this wonderful platform have been summarized as follows.
Talkspace can be used from anywhere
The best thing about Talkspace is that it can be used from anywhere and also at any time. Thus, the users of this platform are saved the trouble of leaving the house and going to the therapist’s office for their intervention sessions. As it operates online completely, those with mental health conditions do not have to worry about stigma or judgment and can enjoy a lot more privacy.
It can be used by couples
Couples can also find solace and comfort in Talkspace as the platform offers high quality couples therapy. This type of therapy focuses on the couple or the family as a unit and uses behavioral techniques and strategies to bring them closer together. As a result, couples therapy is highly recommended for those who are facing difficulties in their relationship.
It can be used by teenagers
Teenagers between the ages of 13 years and 18 years can also find great use in the therapy services for teens provided in Talkspace. This program brings stable emotional support and professional guidance that can help adolescents maneuver this tricky age group. Teens therapy is quite important as stress and anxiety are often experienced by teenagers.
It offers various formats of therapy
Talkspace not only offers different types of therapy, but also offers therapy through various formats. This is one of the best-selling features of Talkspace that makes it so popular. In this platform, the user can choose to have their therapy sessions as live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions according to their convenience and preference.
It has high levels of security
Talkspace takes the privacy and security of its users very seriously and thus has incorporated strong features such as end to end encryptions, multi-step authentications and even firewalls. Talkspace is thus HIPAA compliant which brings the user guarantee that their identity and data is stored safely in the platform’s records.
It uses artificial intelligence
Talkspace uses artificial intelligence and machine learning extensively in the platform. This artificial intelligence is particularly used during the sign-up stage where the data provided by the user is used to match them with a suitable therapist. The AI is also used to detect signs of distress among users anonymously to ensure that they are getting top priority for their mental health care.
It has a sleep program
In this platform, users will also be able to find a sleep program that has been extensively designed keeping in mind those who are finding it difficult to fall asleep. It can also be used by those who keep waking up often and thus don’t get enough rest. The sleep program in Talkspace is for a period of eight weeks and uses behavioral therapy to bring a better sleep pattern.
Talkspace provides many other resources
There are also plenty of other resources that are provided in Talkspace other than therapy alone. In Talkspace, users can find articles and blogs related to general mental health and several mental health conditions. In addition to this, there are also plenty of useful guides related to career, finance and even legal matters.
It offers unlimited messaging for users
Messaging therapy or text therapy is another great feature that is offered across all the plans that Talkspace provides. In this feature, the user is allowed to send a limitless number of messages to their therapists who are guaranteed to respond at least twice daily for five days in a week. The messages can be sent in the form of texts, audio messages or video messages.
It has many plans to choose from
Talkspace provides mainly three different plans for the user to choose from. The Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus plan is the most basic plan in which the user has access to only messaging therapy. The Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium plan and The Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate plan have live sessions in addition to messaging therapy.
Best features of Amwell
Amwell or American Well is a very popular platform that is used by many for the purpose of non-emergency related health care issues. The best features that users or patients have enjoyed extensively have been elaborated in the points below.
Doctor consultations are made easy
Doctor consultations often take up a long period of time and require the patient to leave the house and commute to a hospital or a clinic. In Amwell, these consultations are made super easy as the patients can complete their consultations from the comfort of their homes and can do so from any smart device.
General health and mental health is covered
In Amwell, general health care services and mental health care services are provided. The behavioral health features or mental health care covers therapy as well as psychiatry services. The therapy sessions go on for about 45 minutes, while initial consultations with a psychiatrist can go on for 50 minutes or an hour and then have 15 minute follow-up sessions.
There is a short waiting time
There is a very short waiting period in Amwell, when compared to traditional health care settings. In this platform, the patients can see their healthcare professionals on-demand, which means they can see them right away. However, the urgent care appointments in Amwell may be of lesser durations.
Clients have more control
The clients or patients in Amwell have more control of how they receive their health care and whom they are receiving it from. The platform shows the clients or patients the various physicians, therapists or psychiatrists who are practicing in their area and they are free to choose their doctor based on the bios which are provided.
Medication prescriptions can be availed
Prescriptions for medications can also be availed in Amwell. This is not only for general medical issues but also for mental health conditions. The prescriptions are sent to the local pharmacies of the clients from where they can pick up their medications. It has to be noted though, that some medications like controlled substances cannot be prescribed here.
Amwell is pretty cost-effective
The costs of Amwell are much lesser when compared to traditional health care settings. For those who are opting for urgent care visits, they may be charged around $79 per visit. Therapy sessions are provided at $99 to $110 per session and psychiatry appointments can cost from $279 to $109. The costs of all of these can be greatly reduced by insurance coverage.
Amwell is completely HIPAA compliant
HIPAA compliance is a factor that Amwell takes very seriously. The data and identity of the clients need to be protected at all costs against cyber-crime which can bring a lot of damage if leaked or stolen. The platform extensively encourages video sessions, which are again well-protected and well-secured.
Pricing of Talkspace
Talkspace aims to make mental health cost-effective, affordable and thus easily accessible for everyone. The subscription to Talkspace can cost from $260 to $393 per month. The costs of the plan can vary depending on the plan that the user is choosing and also the length of the subscription that they are opting for.
Talkspace offers three main plans of which the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus plan is the most basic and thus cheapest. On the other hand, the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate plan has a lot more features to offer and therefore is most expensive. All the plans in Talkspace are eligible for insurance coverage which can further reduce the costs of mental health care.
Pricing of Amwell
Amwell is also similarly aimed at making medical care and mental health affordable for everybody. For an urgent care visit in Amwell, clients or patients can expect to pay $79. For those who are opting for therapy services, they may have to pay $99 for a therapist who has a master’s degree or $110 for someone who has a doctorate degree.
Psychiatry sessions can cost $279 for the first consultation which can go on for the duration of 45 minutes to 60 minutes. The follow-up visits with the psychiatrist are charged at $109 which go on for about 15 minutes each. Amwell has partnered with several insurance companies like Aetna and Cigna which can significantly reduce the costs of medical and mental health care.
Signing up for Talkspace
To sign up for this platform, all one needs to do is to follow the steps mentioned below:
- They will need to go to the Talkspace website or download the app which is available for iOS as well as Android devices
- They will need to then click on the Get Started option which will take them to the sign-up page
- Talkspace will then ask them various questions like their name and email address
- They will also need to provide a username or nickname with which they can avail the services in Talkspace
- The platform will then take them to a private room where they will be acquainted with a consultant therapist. This therapist will guide them through the questionnaire, brief them about the services in the platform and also help them match up with a suitable therapist.
Signing up for Amwell
To sign-up for Amwell, the new user or client needs to go to the website of the platform and click on sign-up. In this page, they will need to provide their first name, last name and also their email address. In addition to this, they will also need to create a password for their Amwell account. You will also be asked to choose your health insurance provider if you have one.
Tips to use Talkspace
Talkspace certainly has a large number of features and options for users to choose from. Due to the large number of features, it may be overwhelming for some individuals to get acquainted with this platform. Some tips to help new users of Talkspace have been listed below.
- The platform offers unlimited messaging as a feature in every plan. Use this messaging for not only communicating with your therapist but to also improve your expression, reflection as well as accountability in your therapy.
- Talkspace’s blog is also continuously updated with useful material pertaining to mental health and mental illness. These can be useful for only improving your mental status but also for improving other areas of your life.
- Before starting your therapy sessions, you can take some time to think about what goals you are planning to achieve with this intervention. Therapy goals can not only help you get motivated for your sessions, but can also serve as progress markers in your recovery journey.
- Prior to your live therapy sessions, make sure all your notifications are turned off to help you focus better on what your therapist is saying.
Tips for Amwell
Amwell provides a large number of features and services for anyone who is seeking medical care and mental health care. Some tips to help users of Amwell are described below.
- Be more articulate while describing your symptoms to your doctor during your appointment. If you are finding it difficult to express impromptu, you can always write your thoughts down so that you provide more information. This can help you invaluably.
- Make sure that your devices and technology are working in the right manner before your appointment. While the Amwell platform ensures high quality video streaming, you can do your part by making sure that you have a strong data connection to avoid any glitches.
- To increase the effectiveness of your video sessions and appointments, you can adjust the position of your camera and your seating so that you can maintain a feeling of good eye-contact with your doctor or therapist.
Personal experiences in Talkspace
Talkspace has more than 1.5 million users presently and this number is only increasing day by day. Some of the personal experiences of users in this platform have been described as follows.
- Users of Talkspace have felt that the platform is super convenient in delivering high quality mental health care. Users who are taking care of infants and thus not able to leave the house often have found Talkspace to be more comfortable than traditional therapy settings which require them to go to the therapist’s office for therapy.
- Some users have experienced issues while trying to contact the customer support team of the platform. Many have also left the platform due to this very reason.
- Several other users of Talkspace have felt that the onboarding process is pretty quick and very simple. They felt that they have been able to access mental health care faster when compared to traditional mental health care settings.
- Talkspace provides unlimited messaging therapy in all its plans. While this brings many advantages, many users have felt that this type of therapy is too impersonal and the responses may be too delayed for their use.
Personal experiences in Amwell
Amwell has more than 400, 000 consumers who use the platform for non-emergency related medical reasons as well as mental health care. The personal experiences of the users of Amwell have been explained in the following points.
- Users of Amwell have experienced a lot of comfort and convenience as the platform allows medical consultations from anywhere. Users have also enjoyed the freedom from dressing up and leaving the house just to go see a doctor which might be difficult when you are not well.
- Some users of Amwell have felt that they are not intimated the right amount of time before their doctor visit or call is scheduled and thus have faced some inconvenience due to this.
- Most users of Amwell have thoroughly enjoyed their experience especially after the pandemic hit which made it difficult for many to visit hospitals or healthcare centers for fear of getting infected.
- A large percentage of the users of Amwell have highly rated their medical professionals or therapists in this platform. Amwell goes the extra mile to ensure only the best professionals get to work with their consumers.
Talkspace and Amwell are both telemedicine platforms that aim to make their users’ lives more comfortable by bringing medical care and mental health care to them rather than the other way round. Talkspace is more specifically designed to deliver mental health care services, while Amwell provides all types of medical care for non-emergency issues.
Talkspace is definitely the platform for anyone who has a mental health condition. In this platform, the users can avail therapy and psychiatry services in a single space. They can also communicate with their therapists through several modes of communication. Furthermore, everything can be covered by insurance and thus pretty affordable.
Amwell provides all types of medical care as it serves as a matchmaker between the consumer and the medical professional. Amwell also allows insurance coverage and users have found that the costs of their medical visits here are far lesser than traditional health care settings. Amwell offers therapy and also psychiatry services as part of its behavioral health program.
BetterHelp: A Better Alternative
BetterHelp is the most popular online therapy platform in the world today. Through BetterHelp, anyone with a mental health issue or concern can avail therapy services for very affordable prices. BetterHelp not only benefits individuals, but also couples and teens as it specifically provides therapy for these groups as well.
In BetterHelp, the users can also participate in group sessions that are conducted about once a week and cover more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The therapy sessions themselves, can be conducted through live chats, live phone sessions and live video sessions that the user has freedom to choose from.
Frequently asked questions:
Is Amwell good for therapy?
Yes, Amwell is good for therapy. In this platform, the consumer or user can find high quality therapy services and also avail psychiatry appointments for medication prescription. Furthermore, all the services are eligible for insurance coverage in this platform.
How long are Amwell therapy sessions?
The therapy session in Amwell can go on for a period of about 45 minutes. The number of sessions can differ based on what the therapist sees fit for the user.
Is Amwell safe?
Yes, Amwell is safe. This platform is completely HIPAA compliant and thus users are guaranteed that their identity and data are safely stored here.
Can Talkspace anxiety medication?
Yes, Talkspace can prescribe anxiety medication. However, certain controlled substances like Xanax and Ritalin are not allowed to be prescribed here.
What kind of therapy does Talkspace offer?
In Talkspace, the users can avail individual therapy, couples therapy and even teens therapy. The therapy sessions can have approaches from different psychological schools like psychoanalysis and CBT based on the expertise of the mental health professional.
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