Intended for healthcare professionals

Remote consulting in Dermatology

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid changes in the way healthcare is delivered and, for a time at least, access has been restricted for many patients augmented by patients’ reluctance to attend health centres and hospitals. The importance of reducing person-to-person contact has led to a fundamental change in the way outpatient-based services, like dermatology, are delivered. The large waiting areas, over booking of clinics leading to significant numbers of patients waiting to be seen, and the ability to fit in procedures on the same day have been reduced.

Although some remote dermatology (or teledermatology) has been around for over 20 years, it has never been accepted as a main-stream, or core, activity but rather something of an ‘add on’ for enthusiasts. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all that and remote consulting, has been rolled out rapidly in many specialties to address the needs of social distancing and fear of attending health care institutions. It could be argued this is long overdue and the practice of asking patients to attend clinics for results, routine monitoring visits and simple assessments should have stopped decades ago.

Dermatology in practice 2020; 26(4): 98–100
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