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Teledermatology questions that were a "hot" topic at AAD summer

Last week, our team made the trip to Boston to exhibit at the Summer Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. Teledermatology being a fast-evolving solution area for telehealth, it's always fascinating to us how the conversations about it have been changing over the past few years. Even comparing AAD Summer to the annual AAD conference earlier in 2016, it seems that dermatologists and their practices are much more researched in the area and this is reflected in the questions they asked us last week.

First, let's say that many of them ask about and are interested in the story of how DermatologistOnCall® got started – being conceived by our founder Mark P. Seraly, MD. They are very intrigued about how he has used it to grow his own private practice and the number of patients he can treat.

From there, here are some of the hottest, most frequent questions we were asked at AAD Summer:

How large is the DermatologistOnCall network?

The DermatologistOnCall® network has over 180 providers servicing 35 states today. The growth has been steady and impressive: in the first half of 2016, our service became available in 12 additional states, expanding access to online care for patients in 35 states. We also saw a 70% growth in the number of dermatology care providers on the network to satisfy the growing demand of patients from more locations.

Is the number of patients using DermatologistOnCall growing?

Yes, we saw 75% growth in the number of online patient visits during the first six months of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

Can my mid-levels use this service?

The DermatologistOnCall platform makes it easy to add mid-levels for conducting online visits, with a review and approval process by a board-certified dermatologist in your practice prior to the final diagnosis and treatment plan being delivered to the patient. Integrating mid-level providers into online dermatology practices increases efficiency and revenue by improving patient flow, decreasing patient waiting times, expanding access to services and freeing up physician and exam room time to focus on more critical patient care issues and procedures. To learn more about utilizing mid-levels, hear from our Founder and Chief Medical Officer Mark P. Seraly, MD in this brief video.

Doesn't this just cannibalize my existing patients?

Dermatology practices are already seeing patient volume move away from their offices as wait times increase and other options geared towards convenience proliferate. A 2013 study by Harris Williams & Co. Ltd. stated that fewer than 30% of visits for medical dermatology complaints are being seen by dermatologists due to supply and demand issues. This means that dermatology patients are, in large part, already seeking treatment outside of their dermatologist's office. A teledermatology platform like DermatologistOnCall can actually result not in cannibalism, but in an increase in patients who are receiving proper specialized care. Dr. Seraly recently talked about the "myth of cannibalization" in his web video series. Click here to watch the 2-minute video.

How does this work with my EMR?

We recognize there are a variety of EMRs available to practices today, so our teledermatology solution is built to be compatible with all systems. We recently announced an integration with Nextech where through this partnership, patients and dermatologists can leverage automated information sharing and valuable time-saving features to deliver efficient online dermatology care. Pertinent patient information is automatically shared with the online dermatology visit, saving patient data entry time and errors. This also provides the dermatologist with access to vital information from which to render a diagnosis and a patient-specific treatment plan.

If you're interested in learning more, have additional questions you'd like to ask, and would like to see a demo, we'd love to talk with you and further your education on teledermatology solutions available to you today. Request a free demonstration of our teledermatology solution today.