What Is Teledermatology?
It seems as though so much of society has moved toward online platforms. We can buy everything from our clothes to our groceries online. We socialize with our friends and find love online. It’s no wonder that healthcare has started to move online as well.
The web has become a wealth of health and medical information for patients. Certain specialties, like therapy and counseling, have developed interactive online platforms and have seen exponential growth in recent years. But could routine doctor’s visits be the next in line?
Telemedicine is a concept that has been around for years. It has been used by physicians to serve their patients that live in a rural area and are unable to travel for treatment in person. The military has employed its own telemedicine services to treat overseas personnel and deployed soldiers. Video and telecommunications have allowed individuals access to doctors halfway around the world.
With the advent of new technologies and the continual improvement and refinement of personal computing and mobile devices, telemedicine has grown far beyond primary care. It now allows other specialties like dermatologists to take advantage of these systems.
What is Teledermatology?
The idea is simple: patients with a skin concern could get the help they need by going no further than their smartphone or computer. Essentially, patients are able to log in to an online platform and securely communicate with a dermatologist, discuss their concerns, and receive recommendations and prescriptions, all without ever leaving their home.
A study conducted by Keck School of Medicine at USC found that this online model of care is an “effective way to bring high-quality care to patients regardless of where they live or what their work/life schedule looks like.”
What are the Positives of Teledermatology?
Many people with a skin condition or concern live in remote areas where access to high-quality dermatology care is limited, if not completely unavailable. Having the ability to get prescribed medications delivered right to your door is an excellent solution to this problem.
In addition, it is a tremendous convenience to anyone whose schedule is jam-packed, as patients are able to reach out to a medical professional anytime that works best for them.
In more recent times with situations like the Coronavirus, the ability to seek medical advice from a dermatologist without unnecessary risk of illness can be life-altering.
What are the Negatives of Teledermatology?
There are certain aspects of dermatology that are more accurately and easily done in person. Biopsies and other procedures, for example, would require a visit to the doctor’s office. In addition, although patients have the ability to submit pictures of their skin concerns online, diagnosis and treatment plans could potentially be more accurate if the doctor can examine the patient in person.
Will Telederm Replace A Trip To The Dermatology Office?
In today’s fast-paced world, people are looking for the most convenient way to meet their needs. Almost anything you can think of can be delivered right to your doorstep, including, it seems, your prescription medications and skin care products.
But, as previously stated, things like biopsies to diagnose skin cancer, surgery, and other procedures like Botox and dermal fillers are not able to be done virtually.
Contact us today to learn more!