How Did Dermatologists in the US Adapt to Teledermatology During the COVID-19 Pandemic ?

  • The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Taskforce recently did a survey of 5,000 U.S. Dermatologists a few months after the pandemic began.
  • Results of the 13.5% who responded:
    • so prior to the pandemic 14% have used it, now, 97% of dermatologists have used teledermatology, incredible.
    • 58% of these dermatologists intend to use teledermatology moving forward.
  • So that’s exciting that so many people are interested, but we also have to ask why did the others who had used it during the pandemic (97-58), why are they not so hung ho about it? We have to find ways to adjust.
  • The preferred model for teledermatology in terms of accuracy was the hybrid model of video + photographs
  • The barriers to continue using Teledermatology are:
    • low reimbursement
    • administrative and government or regulatory burdens
    • technology connectivity issues.
  • There are skin conditions more appropriate to teledermatology than others and most dermatologists agreed to conditions such as Acne Vulgaris (other articles point out to inflammatory dermatologist such as Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis). We can thus scale up what works best for different conditions and situations.
  • For interested dermatologists in the US, there are a lot of other resources that AAD has put together through its task force, specifically, the Teledermatology Toolkit. It is highly recommended to anyone who’s looking for more guidance, especially in the U.S. Check out the AAD website.

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


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