Many medical specialties are seeing greater demand for their services, and consequently, it has become increasingly difficult to get a timely appointment with these doctors. Quality time with a dermatologist is especially sought-after these days, whether it’s an initial appointment or follow-ups, and this can leave acne sufferers feeling frustrated.
Looking for an innovative solution to this problem, a group of Massachusetts dermatologists recently compared the clinical merit of remote follow-ups carried out online to traditional office follow-ups.
After 151 patients met with dermatologists to address their acne, 77 patients were given four in-person follow-up appointments, while 74 had “e-visit” follow-ups every six weeks. During their online follow-ups, the patients sent the dermatologists digital photos of their skin, and the dermatologists replied with advice and electronic prescriptions when necessary, spending the same amount of time on e-visits as the in-person visits.
By the end of the study, the groups experienced a comparable reduction in inflammatory acne lesions, and the patients and dermatologists expressed similar levels of satisfaction, whether their appointments were in-office or online.
“In this trial, delivering follow-up care to subjects with mild to moderate acne via office and online visits produced equivalent clinical outcomes by several different metrics,” the researchers wrote in a paper appearing in the Archives of Dermatology. “These findings suggest that dermatologists obtain sufficient information from digital images and survey responses to make appropriate management decisions in the treatment of acne. In addition, this model of care delivery was popular with both physicians and patients, likely owing to the convenience and/or time savings associated with e-visits.”
Would you be willing to do online follow-up visits with your dermatologist? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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