(Last Updated On: May 13, 2022)

Anna Cristina L. Cuenca, MD, DPDS, Lalaine R. Visitacion, MD, FPDS, Jen-Christina Lourdes Q. Segovia, MD

Abstract

Introduction:Telemedicine is the practice of remote consultations that utilize computer-mediated communication. Given the visual nature of dermatology, it is most well-suited to adopt telecommunication practices. This enables remote medical care during public health emergencies like the current COVID-19 pandemic; limiting the risk of exposure for both patients and doctors alike.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed chart data during a 5-month period in 2020; wherein the number of online consultations were observed to be the highest. We noted demographic and clinical features and compared some of these data to those obtained in the same period in 2019.

Results:A total of 1,632 patients were seen via teledermatology in 2020 versus 7,219 face-to-face patients in 2019. Mean age for both groups were 26.59 and 36.89 respectively. Most patients in both years were from Davao. However, there was an increase in consults from other regions in 2020. Overall, the majority of cases for both periods were non-urgent inflammatory conditions.

 

ConclusionThis study showed that providing remote dermatologic care is now possible with the advent of technology even during a pandemic.
Teledermatology may serve as an eff ective adjunct to traditional consultations.

Keywords: telemedicine, dermatology, COVID-19, pandemic

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