This week we sat down with the co-founders of SkyTherapist. Sky Therapist, Inc is a virtual platform for mental health support addressing the major complaints of patients in their course of treatment. They offer integrative solutions for intelligent patient-therapist matching, quick initial assessment, and continuity of care.
CEO, Afshan Ali, and CFO, Keith Jones, shared their story about how they decided there must be a better way to provide patients in need with access to a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Keith talked about how as a teenager, he was present when his father died, causing him to experience great anxiety and emotional pain. He was hospitalized for a few weeks but felt he did not receive very effective mental health care while he was there.
Afshan discussed how she developed an interest in neurology and mental health during her years in medical school before changing career paths. The two of them looked at the landscape of how mental health is delivered and felt there was an opportunity to create a new platform that could help people in need find the therapist best suited for them.
As they got to work on building their virtual platform that incorporates telemedicine technology, they felt that a key element that would set them apart was going to be a matching algorithm, paired with carefully-chosen intake questions for the patient-to-be. The purpose of this design is intended to make the process of linking up with a professional that is experientially suited and a fit personality-wise.
We talked about the fact that for persons in crisis, the process of trying to find that personal fit that allows them to be able to be open and get the most of their therapy can be overwhelming. Having to go through talking about what the reason is for seeking help over and over to professional after professional, trying to find a fit can often cause patients in need to give up on finding help.
SkyTherapist is able to quickly provide several professionals for the patient to talk to who are much more likely to be a good fit for the patient. The platform also provides for some communication through correspondence with their provider between sessions. It also has a component that allows provider and patient to agree upon self-care activities such as exercise or others and actually track their compliance.
The company will be focusing much of its early launch (July 2015) on providing services to businesses with Employee Assistance Programs. This will give them ability to scale more quickly while providing their client companies with much more effective and cost-efficient care to employees who need access to a mental health pro.
When you have the chance to hear how/why these experts built this healthcare platform it’s clear they are dedicated to insuring patients in need of professional mental health care, SkyTherapist is clearly providing a promising solution.
Afshan Ali, CEO/Co-founder of SkyTherapist
- BBA, Management Information Services, Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business
- Former Senior Consultant, Deloitt Consulting
- Active Healthcare Consultant
- Speaks English, Hindi, Urdu
- Managing Partner, HarCap Commercial Funding
- Former Owner, Eclipse Investment Group
- Multiple Successful Entrepreneurial Ventures
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