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Keywords

Coronavirus, Health Disparity, Teledermatology, Telehealth, Virtual Care

 

Authors

  1. Nickles, Melissa A.
  2. Rustad, Andrea M.
  3. Lio, Peter A.

ABSTRACT

Importance: Amidst widespread social distancing measures enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services expanded telehealth service coverage for beneficiaries. U.S. dermatologists and their patients have since transitioned toward billable video-based visits. Teledermatology continues to rapidly evolve, and dermatology providers should be aware and informed of systems, benefits, and barriers to effectively incorporate teledermatology into patient care.

 

Objective: The aim of this study was to review the history of teledermatology, its progression to the current state, and its use and expansion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Results: Our findings suggest that teledermatology is a useful tool to address the dermatologic needs of those with limited mobility, critically ill patients, and remote communities. Teledermatology could decrease the burden of skin disease and improve the quality of life for many people, as well as empower patients to be more active in their own care. Certain conditions are more amenable to diagnosis and long-term management with teledermatology, such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and atopic dermatitis. Dermatologists should prioritize seeing patients with pigmented lesions in person, as melanoma may be more difficult to detect via telemedicine. Unified legislation for teledermatology is necessary as medicolegal protection, safety and privacy quality analysis, and The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)-approved security compliance have yet to be fully addressed.