Posted:
November 15, 2022

Our Digital Therapy Experience

Our Digital Therapy Experience
Guide
Courtney Keleher, M.Ed., BCBA, LABA, LBA
Author

Morry Belkin, Chief Technology Officer

Specializes in: Verbal behavior, functional communication, behavior support planning, ABA insurance funding, Early Intervention, organizational behavior management, strategic planning.

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Morry is the Chief Technology Officer at AnswersNow. He and his team are responsible for creating and supporting the digital platform that our team of BCBAs use to deliver therapy to our clients. 

For many families, Zoom school or remote learning was difficult and frustrating throughout the pandemic. When hearing that AnswersNow delivers our autism therapy “virtually,” some may worry their child will have a similar experience as they did in Zoom school. While a valid concern, I want to assure you that our custom-built tech platform allows us to offer our clients:

  • a clinical experience that is designed to mirror one-on-one, in-person therapy
  • built-in features and activities that personalize your child’s care
  • and an extremely safe and secure virtual environment

In this blog, our CTO Morry will go over how the AnswersNow team thoughtfully built a tech platform that successfully engages our clients and families in their care. 

1. The platform was designed by clinicians specifically for autism therapy.

When we came up with the idea for AnswersNow, we sat down with our Chief Science Officer, Adam, and other clinical experts, and asked, “What makes ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), ABA?”

One of the most important things they told us is that in ABA therapy, or behavioral therapy, it’s critical for clinicians to help control the environment for the patient. If a clinician goes into someone's house for in-person ABA therapy, their goal is to minimize or eliminate distractions so that a client can focus on the tasks and activities at hand. We wanted to mirror that controlled environment for our digital experience.

Everything we designed for the platform is with personalized ABA therapy in mind, and is what differentiates us from a regular Zoom call.

The AnswersNow platform has features such as:

- Multiple screen views that enable a clinician to choose what their client can see:

  • Face to face therapy: the client sees the clinician’s face, similar to a regular Zoom view
  • Split screen: the client sees the clinician on the bottom half of the screen and an activity on top
  • Full activity mode: the clients sees activities that can be run as part of call

- Built-in activities to engage clients in their care:

  • We built a set of activities into the platform, including animated prompts, that our clinicians can then track data on: how a child is doing, how fast a child can answer a question, etc.

2. The platform is easy-to-use and, if there’s any hiccups, our Support Team is there to help.

Not only did we want to create a virtual experience that could mirror the important aspects of in-person therapy, but we wanted to ensure that our clients and their families found the overall experience easy, and even enjoyable at times. Along with removing a physical commute and time spent sitting around in a waiting room, we wanted to minimize any of the confusion or sterile feeling that can come with a typical telehealth approach. 

We did this through:

- Making important information easily accessible

We know that for our parents and caregivers, there’s already a lot on their plate. Which is why we designed our portal with features that help support them through their onboarding process, manage reminders for their recurring therapy appointments, and securely store their session notes and other important information.

When a client first joins AnswersNow, and logs onto our platform, there is a visual progress tracker that helps them to stay on top of the tasks that need to be completed (forms that need to be signed, diagnosis paperwork that needs to be submitted, etc.) before the client can start therapy. 

Once a Caregiver or Parent is signed into our portal, they can easily access:

  • Communications AnswersNow has with doctors or insurance companies
  • Notifications and helpful reminders of upcoming therapy sessions
  • A client’s therapy session history including the clinician's notes that the are submitted to insurance

- Designing an enjoyable, personalized experience

We designed a virtual waiting room complete with a virtual couch and calming colors for clients to enjoy before they enter a therapy call. This area gives clients and clinicians a space to prepare before they decide to enter their session. We want the experience to feel both professional and secure.

While clients are in the “waiting room,” our Support Team is able to provide feedback for clients, in case anything comes up that may impact the success of their virtual session, like a slow internet connection or issues with video capabilities.

- Offering Fast, Hands-On Support

If any issues or questions do arise, our Support Team reliably addresses the issues within 10 minutes or less, and if there is ever a problem trying to log on to a call for therapy, we address it immediately.

3. The platform is secure and safe for our clients and their families.

Our platform is HIPAA compliant, and will ensure your family’s healthcare data remains private and protected. We also leverage AWS authentication and security to ensure that we remain extremely secure and often do safety reviews of the site. We are accredited by BHCOE, which is an earned certification and distinction among ABA therapy providers that demonstrates an organization’s commitment to quality and continuous improvement in applied behavior analysis. 

4. We are constantly reassessing and improving our portal experience. 

To ensure that our platform is as easy-to-use and accessible as we aim for it to be, I personally run many of our orientation calls with patients to answer their questions and understand any needs the team may have overlooked. 

Our tech team also hosts regular feedback sessions with our team of clinicians to better understand how our virtual therapy sessions are going, and identify ways we can create a more seamless experience.

If you have any questions about our digital therapy experience, make sure to reach out to hello@getanswersnow.com for more information.

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