What is Telederm?
Telemedicine or telehealth have almost become mainstream thanks to the covid pandemic. It’s a virtual way to visit with your doctor without leaving home. Some hospitals and practices do a simple phone call, others rely on Zoom or other web conferencing services. It’s easy, convenient, and in a lot of cases, it even saves money.
According to the World Health Organization, telemedicine is defined as: “The delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health care professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health care providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities”
Now, telehealth has expanded to more specific disciplines of medicine, including dermatology.
Teledermatology Gives More People Access to Services
Just like telehealth, teledermatology (or telederm) is easy and convenient for the patient. Since dermatology relies on visual observation of the patient in order to diagnose and treat skin issues, it is ideally suited to a video call. It is possible for a doctor to suspect skin cancer during an observation on a telederm visit, but obviously that is something that requires a biopsy in person, so a follow up visit is required for diagnosis.
Studies have shown that telederm services are reliable and effective for both the patient and the physician. Telederm visits are a way to help more people see a specialist without increasing the doctor’s overhead costs.
There are even more benefits for patients who need dermatology. In 2017, there was an average of 41.8 dermatologists per 100,000 people in Manhattan, New York and 36.6 per 100,000 in Palo Alto, California. In Kentucky, there is less than one dermatologist per 100,000 people, 0.3 to be exact. An overall shortage of dermatologists means that people have to wait for appointments.
The average wait time is 34 days, but in some areas, it can be as long as 73 days. This is ample time for skin cancer to spread. And for someone suffering from psoriasis or even acne, this can be physically uncomfortable and emotionally damaging because skin conditions can be seen. Telederm services can help people in communities with dermatologist shortages to minimize the waiting time for an appointment.
How a Telederm Appointment Works
Teledermatology doesn’t necessarily require a traditional appointment, but there are some traditional things that need to be done. This is a medical visit, so a patient has to disclose their health history. This is important because of potential allergies, drug interactions, or other conditions.
Teledermatology can be carried out three ways: store and forward method, real-time videoconferencing and a hybrid of the above.
The store and forward method is the most widely used one. Patients take pictures or make videos to show the dermatologist what they are dealing with. It’s ideal because the doctor doesn’t even have to be in the same time zone. No direct interaction is required and it’s fairly inexpensive.
Videoconferencing works by using web conferencing software over the internet. Obviously internet access is required. It is a live visit, so the doctor and patient need to coordinate an appointment time.
A hybrid combined both store and forward and videoconferencing. One example may be if a patient has a funny looking mole, they may take a photo. The doctor then analyzes it and they set up a live videoconference to discuss what the doctor thinks next steps should be. Of course if the doctor suspects cancer, the patient will then need a biopsy which has to be done in person.
No matter the modality, telederm has been shown to be effective for providing dermatology services. It’s a win-win for both doctors and patients.
Telederm Through Qyral
Qyral is now offering our customers a teledermatology option. We’re keeping it as easy as possible. Simply go to our website and take our skin assessment quiz. From there you’ll be asked a series of questions about your skin, your health, and your skincare goals. We use the “store and forward” method, so you’ll take pictures.
You’ll place your order and a Board Certified Dermatologist will write a prescription for you. If they have any questions or concerns about your skincare needs, they’ll contact you.
Besides being easy, the process is also relatively inexpensive. Our dermatology fee is less than $50 and it’s good for a full year! You’ll have access to a doctor who can answer questions related to Qyral, 24/7/365. There is no need to mess with insurance or wait for weeks for an appointment. You’ll have your prescription written and sent to your door.
To start the process, take our quiz and we’ll get you connected with a dermatologist today!