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Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all behavioral health disorders – 20% of all eating disorder patients die from their disorder, according to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA). Recovery requires commitment over weeks, months, and sometimes years on the part of the patients and their care team. We spoke with Jonathan Ciampi, President of Bright Hearth Health, who discussed telemedicine for this difficult type of illness – and how Bright Heart and Zoom are making a difference in the lives of their patients.
San Ramon, California-based Bright Heart is the first Joint Commission Accredited telemedicine eating disorder program in the US. Through its programs, multi-disciplinary teams treat male and female patients with Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating disorder through intensive outpatient programs run entirely on Zoom.
Bright Heart offers a 10-week program, where patients spend 11 hours a week in intensive outpatient therapy via Zoom, including 9 hours a week of group therapy. This is followed by weekly sessions with a therapist and a dietitian. Each patient is given ample personal time with their care team, which includes a therapist, dietician, psychiatrist, and additional support staff. This team also works closely with the patient’s primary care physician “to ensure that the physical, as well as the mental needs of the patient are met,” explained Ciampi.
You might think that nothing beats in-person therapy, but Bright Heart has identified several benefits of telemedicine for treating eating disorders:
Ciampi summarizes it thusly: “Patients engage sooner, it fits their life schedule, they have eating disorder experts treating them, and the therapist can work more intimately with clients.” Bright Heart has seen such positive results that they have partnered with Stanford University to do an outcome study on their patients.
Ciampi considered various solutions when searching for the best video conferencing platform for Bright Heart. In the end, Zoom was the easy choice for several reasons:
We at Zoom are proud that our solution can help Ciampi and his team reach and treat more patients. We look forward to seeing how they build their practice over time. Learn more about Bright Hearth Health. To discuss how you can use Zoom for telemedicine, sign up for a demo today.