Why Freespira is a Founding Member of New “Virtual-First” IMPACT Initiative


As the world struggles to navigate the harsh realities of a global pandemic, healthcare has become increasingly virtual. That’s why The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) recently launched IMPACT, a new ‘Virtual-First’ healthcare initiative — and why Freespira is one of the first organizations onboard  with this innovative, first-of-its-kind program.

IMPACT stands for “Virtual-first Medical Practice Collaboration.” The initiative, which was co-created by the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe), aims to drive collaboration by fostering an ecosystem of healthcare organizations with the shared mission of delivering, developing and promoting “virtual-first” care. The founding members, which include a wide range of health insurance companies, investors, trade associations, and digital health start-ups like Freespira, believe that the future of healthcare is virtual and are committed to prioritizing virtual care as a primary component of their mission-driven work.

But IMPACT’s focus goes beyond traditional telemedicine. Instead, it aspires to develop solutions that its organizers call “virtual-first,” rather than simply leveraging telemedicine as an option when in-person care is not available or safe.

Here’s what makes a Virtual-First approach different:

  1. It’s not a total replace of in-person visits: Most services that we think of as telehealth have been developed to mirror traditional practice, using communications technologies to deliver an experience that strives to simulate an in-clinic visit. Virtual-first is a new experience.
  2. New clinical workflows and new technologies to support patients at home: Virtual-first practices have staff and clinical workflows that are based exclusively on caring for patients remotely. Virtual-first practices use technologies for patients to monitor their health at home. Virtual-first is not a complement to in-person care but rather is entirely virtual from end-to-end.
  3. A holistic approach to care outside of the hospital walls: Virtual-first care often includes an extensive array of services and providers, such as remote patient monitoring, mental health professional consultations, and coaching, together with physician services, all delivered outside of traditional healthcare facilities.

“We’re excited to be a founding member of the IMPACT initiative and partner with other innovative healthcare organizations to transform our virtual-first vision into our new reality and eventually, the new normal for patients and payors,” said Dean Sawyer, Chief Executive Officer of Freespira, Inc. “The Freespira platform epitomizes a virtual-first approach by providing a complete turnkey healthcare solution for patients suffering from panic disorder and PTSD which includes patient identification, enrollment, authorization as well as an at-home device and informed tele-health coaching.”

IMPACT’s initial focus is on developing model payer contracts for virtual-first organizations, conducting investor and innovator benchmarking surveys and addressing misconceptions that virtual care is “second-class medicine.”

Freespira is a first-in-class digital therapeutic, cleared by the FDA to specifically treat the acute symptoms of panic attacks and PTSD. The technology is supported by both clinical and real-world data, and is accessible to patients no matter where they live.

You can learn more about IMPACT at impact.dimesociety.org. For full press release announcement click HERE.

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