Could Increased Use of Telemedicine in Dermatology Make Things Worse ?

  • Teledermatology has enormous advantages such as providing access and triage. However we must also have to look at the other side of the equation. Is there a chance that we could make things worse in terms of digital division by increasing dependence on telemedicine?

  • Until now, we have generally studied the “store-and-forward” method more than “live interactive” and with more of these video visits, they actually require quite a bit of bandwidth and many poor minorities just don’t have the same access:
    • 26% of Americans with annual income under 30K are smartphone dependent for their internet, meaning they have no other source for their internet. And the smartphones are often not sufficient so perhaps those people that are most vulnerable, most needy are the ones who have the least access to this extra method of care.
    • On the other hand at the same time the wealthier and non-urgent patients with greater access have a tendency to take up more of physicians limited time.

Jules Lipoff. Teledermatology in the US. 8th World Congress of Teledermatology, Skin Imaging and AI in Skin diseases – November 2020


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