With the modern technology, selfie has become a mania and dermatologists are happy to chip in to plan your cure based on photoes sent to them, helping those in rural areas and averse to see a skin doctor with thier skin problems like eczema, without fuss.
Led by April Armstrong from the University of Colorado, Denver, the study was conducted to compare effectiveness of a direct-access, online model for follow-up dermatologic care in pediatric and adult patients with atopic dermatitis with that of in-person office visits.
It included 156 adults and children with eczema: 78 received typical in-person, for follow-up care, while 78 received online, for follow-up care. The patients had sent photos of skin outbreaks to dermatologists who later analyzed the photos and made recommendations or prescribed medications to cure it in online responses.
It was conducted for one year as randomized controlled equivalency clinical trial in medically underserved areas, outpatient clinics, and the general community. Participants included 156 children and adults with atopic dermatitis with access to the Internet, computers, and digital cameras.
After a year, eczema was nearly cleared or totally cured in almost 44 percent of patients who received in-person care and more than 38 percent of those who received online care. “It shows that online dermatology services could help improve access to care at a time when there are not enough dermatologists to meet demand,” said Armstrong.
“This study shows something interesting – patients’ eczema improved regardless whether they saw the doctor for follow-up in the office or communicated online,” added Gary Goldenberg, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City.
The study, published in the journal JAMA Dermatology, concluded that the direct-access online model results in equivalent improvements in atopic dermatitis clinical outcomes as in-person care and said the direct-access online care may represent an innovative model for patients with chronic skin diseases.