Talkspace, the service that lets users have unlimited messaging to their therapists for $25/week, has today publicly launched asynchronous audio and video messaging between patients and therapists.
This will allow users to connect via more than just text messages, and given that a level of trust between patient and therapist is the basis for effective psychotherapy, the deeper level of communication puts Talkspace in a more dynamic position when competing with traditional therapy.
While in beta, Talkspace realized that just three to four percent of users were using video messaging, with six to seven percent using audio messages. In other words, text still remains the primary mode of communication on Talkspace, which CEO Oren Frank credits to the convenience of SMS.
Talkspace launched back in June of 2012 on a mission to bring psychotherapy into the digital age. Using IBM Watson technology, Talkspace matches users with the best matching therapist and sets up a channel of communication between therapist and patient.
Instead of spending one hour a week with a therapist, Talkspace lets users send unlimited messages to their therapist through the platform for just $25/week. Not only does this make therapists more accessible to their patients, but it helps keep a thorough record of all the communication between patient and therapist, which actually increases the efficacy of the treatment.
On the therapist side, these professionals not only have more flexible schedules but can serve a broader range of patients. As of May 2015, Talkspace said it had more than 250 licensed therapists using the platform.
The company has raised a total of $13 million across four rounds of funding from investors such as Spark, Metamorphic, and Softbank.