Virtua Health Signs with Woebot Health to Deliver Adjunctive Mental Health Tool to Patients
Woebot for Adults to augment clinician’s toolkit; collaboration includes customized clinician enablement program
October 19, 2023 – Virtua Health and Woebot Health announced a collaboration that allows Virtua Health primary care clinicians and specialists to provide Woebot for Adults as a clinically directed adjunctive tool for people waiting to see a behavioral health provider or seeking support outside of traditional in-person therapy sessions.
As part of the collaboration, the Virtua Health team will work with Woebot Health to implement a shared resource center providing the training, deployment and reporting resources to seamlessly deliver Woebot for Adults within the organization’s clinical care pathway. The collaboration will also add to the industry’s understanding of the benefits of digital therapeutics by assessing aggregate patient outcomes, healthcare resource utilization and health economics results. The organizations are kicking off their collaboration in advance of the typically stress-filled holiday season, and expect to expand it in the future. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Virtua Health, South Jersey’s largest healthcare provider, is an academic not-for-profit healthcare system that operates a network of hospitals, surgery centers, physician practices and more. Its President and CEO Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, and board member of the American Hospital Association, was recently named a Top Innovator for 2023 by Modern Healthcare and is one of a select group of leaders lauded for their ability to apply innovation to improve care.
According to the American Psychological Association, as many as 70 percent of primary care visits are prompted by patients’ psychological problems, including anxiety and depression. Like many healthcare organizations across the U.S., Virtua Health is seeing skyrocketing demand for behavioral healthcare colliding with limited clinician availability and a shrinking workforce. Patients with behavioral health issues currently wait nearly a month to see a clinician, and the vast majority of those who are referred to a clinician don’t keep the first appointment.
“Our recent community needs assessment showed behavioral health access continues to be a top priority in our area, but that affordability, trust and practical considerations are roadblocks to getting help,” said Virtua Health’s Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Transformation Officer Tarun Kapoor, MD, MBA. “Woebot is the innovative tool that has the potential to address many of the problems that our providers and our community are facing.”
Kapoor added clinicians typically have limited time with patients during an appointment, and therefore limited capacity to provide individuals with customized guidance and resources. It’s a reality echoed by Sam Weiner, MD, vice president and chief medical officer for Virtua Medical Group, a network that includes more than 1,000 medical or surgical physicians and other clinicians. A practicing primary care physician, Dr. Weiner said, “Healthcare is about making meaningful connections. By working with Woebot Health, Virtua Health will increase those connection points for our patients and provide them with timely information and personalized support. I am excited to see the impact of this partnership.”
“We’ve seen increasing interest from health systems who want to augment care and support patients with 24/7 mental health support,” said Woebot Health CEO Michael Evers. “But Virtua Health is unique in its holistic approach to breaking through access obstacles with a complete implementation program that will get tools into the hands of people who need them most. We’re very excited to see how this approach can benefit patients, clinicians and the health system as a whole.”
Woebot for Adults is a mental health tool that provides in-the-moment support to people experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression. More information about how health systems can expand access to adjunctive mental health tools is available here.
About Woebot Health
Woebot Health is the mental health ally for people and businesses that is answering the skyrocketing need for mental health care by breaking down the systemic constraints that block equal access to it. Our relational agent, Woebot, is at the heart of a powerful platform that can tailor products for specific intended uses and patient populations. It’s also the foundation of our solutions, which offer CBT-based support tools for adults, adolescents and new mothers. We work directly with virtual primary care companies, payers and IDNs to put scalable and validated mental health solutions directly in the hands of those who need them. For more information, visit www.woebothealth.com.