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Utilization of teledermatology services for dermatological diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic

HumanInsight Utilization of teledermatology services for dermatological diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic

Arch Dermatol Res. 2022 Nov 3. doi: 10.1007/s00403-022-02438-9. Online ahead of print.


Little is known about trends in teledermatology adoption and use for managing dermatologic patients, especially changes in use influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this retrospective cohort study, we analyzed encounter data from the Healthjump dataset (containing electronic health record data from throughout the USA) for visits from November 2019 to July 2021 with a primary dermatology-related diagnosis. There was a striking rise in teledermatology use with the onset of the pandemic in February 2020, peaking in April 2020 with 2178 teledermatology encounters (32.8% of all encounters). Subsequently, teledermatology use waned. Most teledermatology care was delivered via synchronous means with little use of asynchronous or telephone communication. When compared to those with neoplastic skin diseases, patients with inflammatory skin diseases were more likely to be seen via teledermatology (OR 3.30, 95% CI 3.12-3.49). Certain demographic groups were less likely to receive care via teledermatology, such as men (compared with females, OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.74-0.78) and patients 65 and older (compared with those below 65, OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.57-0.62). Our work shows increased adoption of teledermatology at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic with decreasing use over time. Future efforts are needed to ensure continued and expanded use of a valuable care modality to reach vulnerable populations.

PMID:36326887 | DOI:10.1007/s00403-022-02438-9

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