Calling on the Latest Technology to Improve Patient Access to Dermatology Services
// By Lisa D. Ellis //
If you had a suspicious mole or rash on your leg, what if you could have it evaluated by a dermatologist tomorrow without having to miss any work or activities and could find out quickly whether the area is cause for concern? You’d probably find this approach invaluable. And so might many of your health system’s patients, too—if you could convince them that they weren’t sacrificing quality in return for this convenience.
In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, advances in technology and an increasing desire to accommodate patients’ needs and preferences have prompted many health care systems to extend their reach by offering telemedicine options that bring important diagnostic capabilities right into people’s own homes via computer, tablet, or smartphone.
But while this is an appealing way to broaden services beyond the confines of the physical environment to treat people remotely, it’s also one that requires health systems and marketers to overcome barriers to convince potential customers to trust this form of clinical care.
Of course, these days, the scope of this task is a lot less overwhelming than it was just a decade ago, since in 2016, telemedicine is a normal part of the conversation for a range of medical services, including urgent care and the monitoring of chronic health conditions. Since many skin, hair, and nail conditions can be diagnosed strictly by visual appearance and patient history, dermatology is another area that is especially well suited for this approach, explains Jennifer Sikora, VP of Marketing of Iagnosis, which runs a teledermatology service called DermatologistOnCall. While this is one of the many teledermatology services on the market today, it currently offers one of the largest platforms in this service line, making it an interesting model to understand.