Over 100 counsellors and psychotherapists sign up in three hours for telehealth pilot

Press Release | Posted on: 11 May, 2020

Monday, May 11: Enterprise Ireland and HSE partnership, Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI), telehealth company Wellola and the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) have launched a pilot for 103 IACP members to enable client sessions from home. Pre Covid-19 almost 100 per cent of this mental healthcare support was delivered face-to-face and now many counsellors are moving to online platforms to provide care to their clients.

The HIHI pilot provides the Wellola platform at no cost to IACP participants for six months. HIHI will then evaluate the impact of preventative, community-based mental healthcare, supported by digital tools and how online counselling compares with face-to-face therapy. Core features of the Wellola platform include:

  • Online Booking
  • Video Consultation Software
  • Secure Messaging
  • Form Completion to assist in triaging
  • Resource Sharing
  • Payment Functionalities (e-Invoicing, payment in video-screen etc)

The Wellola system offers high levels security and aims to remove structural barriers to care via its secure GDPR-compliant patient communication portal. As winners of the  HIHI national call 2019, Wellola requested the support of HIHI to explore pilot opportunities in the mental health space. Last month it was announced that the Dublin-based tech company, is providing a dedicated online portal for GPs to treat people remotely and protect against Covid-19.

Sonia Neary Wellola CEO said:

“We are delighted to be delivering this project with HIHI at a time when our citizens and care providers urgently need to find alternatives to conventional care pathways and to doing business. Wellola aims to remove structural barriers to care via its secure GDPR-compliant patient communication portal.

“We are very grateful to the IACP and its members in facilitating the study and are hopeful that learnings gained will further inform the development and application of digital tools in the mental healthcare setting”

Lisa Molloy IACP CEO said: “The IACP is delighted to collaborate on this project with the HIHI and Wellola. Our members are very keen to assist in the evaluation of how an online portal can support access to counselling and psychotherapy services

Eimear Galvin HIHI Manager (TCD) said:

“Telehealth is providing solutions to challenges right across healthcare. Although we were working on this pilot pre-Covid 19, the launch has come at the just the right time. IACP members are independent service providers whose business depends on person-to-person communication and we are supporting Wellola to explore efficacy of its portal in the critical area of mental health.”