Introducing TeleDerm - Dermatology via Technology

TeleDerm - Dermatology via Technology

Using technology to diagnose and treat patients is called telemedicine. Although new to us at Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater, telemedicine itself is not new; in fact, it’s not even relatively new. During the 1960’s NASA used telecommunications technology to provide healthcare to astronauts.

Telemedicine capabilities exploded with the invention of the World Wide Web in 1989, and by the turn of the century, telemedicine became mainstream as video-chat services like Skype and iChat were developed. 

Dermatologists embraced this technology and teledermatology was born. 

Teledermatology

Traditionally teledermatology was used to diagnose and treat patients in remote areas without access to quality dermatological care. But distance isn’t the only obstacle our patients face. They may also be dealing with underlying health conditions or mobility issues, transportation difficulties, or limited flexibility for taking time off of work or school.

In light of the recent social-distancing guidelines recommended by the CDC during the COVID 19 pandemic, many of our patients at Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater have expressed the desire to have a virtual visit instead of coming into the office. 

We listened and our response is to launch a teledermatology platform - TeleDerm.

What is TeleDerm?

TeleDerm is a secure digital platform that allows patients to share photos and videos with a dermatologist for remote assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of skin conditions. If medication is indicated, a prescription can be sent electronically to the patient’s pharmacy.

Patient Benefits of TeleDerm 

No transportation time or costs

By choosing a TeleDerm visit, you save money on gas or public transportation.

On-the-Go access

Have access to the internet? You have access to medical care using your current internet-connected computer or mobile device.

No waiting room exposure for at-risk patients

While we do our best to prevent the spread of germs in our office, crowded waiting rooms are the perfect environment for sharing illnesses. 

Less time waiting to see the provider

If you choose a virtual-visit, you won’t be stuck in the waiting room thumbing through old magazines. 

No need to take time off work

TeleDerm visits largely remove the need to take time off of work or school if scheduled during your regular break or lunchtime. Save that precious paid-time-off for something fun!

No need for child or elder care

Finding alternative care for your children or aging parents to attend appointments can be hard … and expensive. Telemedicine appointments allow you to be home, where you’re needed while taking good care of your health.

Better overall management of skin issues

If it’s easier to see your healthcare provider, you’ll keep your follow-up appointments and schedule visits more often, leading to better overall skin health. 

Your data and healthcare information is secure

Is TeleDerm the Right Choice for Me?

TeleDerm visits are ideal for acute or chronic dermatological conditions. Below is a list of common skin conditions that can be assessed and treated by TeleDerm visits:

Routine follow-up visits for medication refills are also great candidates.  

When is an In-Office Visit Best?

Telemedicine visits are NOT ideal for full-body skin cancer screening exams.  A thorough examination of the entire body requires an in-office visit. Also, keep in mind that the images you send must be crystal clear for an accurate assessment. If you can’t get a good photo, it’s best to see your dermatologist in-person.

Request a TeleDerm Visit

To schedule a new appointment or convert your currently scheduled in-office visit to a TeleDerm visit, please use the link below to start the process. After you submit your request, we’ll be in touch to schedule an appointment with a provider.

Request your Televisit here - Appointment Request Link

(Recommend Browser:  Desktop: Chrome or SmartPhone)

TeleDerm Request Requirements

  1. Patient demographics (name, date-of-birth, email address, etc.)
  2. Smartphone, tablet, or computer with an internet connection
  3. Insurance Information or self-pay $90 by credit or debit card. 
  4. Photos of the affected area (minimum of three)

Tips for Great TeleDerm Pics

Your Telederm visit diagnosis relies heavily on your ability to provide excellent images of your skin condition. Here are 5 tips for making sure the photos you submit make the grade:

  1. Focus. Focus. Focus.
    Make sure your images aren’t blurry. If it doesn’t look crystal clear to you, take another photo.
  2. Get Up CLOSE!
    Make sure to include several close-up photos of your problem area(s). 
  3. Now Step Back!
    Now take some from a broader perspective so the provider can see the surrounding healthy skin and can compare the two. 
  4. Follow Directions
    Follow the instructions for taking and submitting the photos and/or videos. There may be special requirements for image size or format. 
  5. Include a Description of Your Symptoms
    A picture may be worth a thousand words, but describing your symptoms, such as itching, burning, or pain, in addition to sending the photo can really help the provider zero in on a solution to your problem.

Key Takeaways

While in-person appointments will always have their place, and may even be necessary for some types of visits, a virtual-visit can be the next-best-option for most skin conditions. 

We look forward to providing you with excellent patient-care whether via TeleDerm or an in-office visit. Please give us a call if you have any questions.

Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater
757-461-1033 (Opt. 1)

Author
Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater, located in Norfolk, Virginia, provides comprehensive personalized dermatologic care to patients of all skin types, conditions, and ages. Medical director Jonathan Schreiber, MD, PhD and the entire professional medical team at Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater approach dermatologic exams from the medical root of an issue, and similarly, cosmetic issues from the science of a treatment, using science-based support and results with the treatment services offered to patients.

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