The covid-19 pandemic presented a global health crisis, forcing the reduction of hospital visits and the implementation of telemedicine. Relevant stakeholders in the healthcare industry, including the WHO, recommended limiting social interactions as a strategy to control the increasing numbers of morbidity and mortality rates infections. The main advantage of restrictions on face-to-face clinical consultations was to preserve the health of medical practitioners delivering patient care by limiting occupational exposure to the virus.
Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, involves leveraging information and communication systems to enhance clinical outcomes and efficiency. This healthcare tool focuses on increasing access to care and medical information regardless of distance. Patients and clinicians only need access to technological solutions, including smart devices, teleconferencing, and emails.
What is Teleradiology?
Teleradiology involves the transmission of medical images for diagnostic or consultative purposes. An appropriate medical professional performs a comprehensive evaluation of these images to recognize signs of abnormalities and thus make a diagnosis before developing an ideal treatment plan. Although most patients have concerns regarding the efficacy of Telehealth in ensuring accurate skin diagnosis, there is growing evidence supporting care delivery through Telehealth because it allows efficient screening for precise diagnosis.
Telemedicine depends on the transmission of radiologic images (teleradiology). There is a comprehensive implementation of teleradiology in dermatological practice, primarily because it addresses a lack of adequate medical staff in rural areas. Technological advancements have promoted teleradiology by introducing solutions supporting Telehealth implementation. For example, the introduction of specialized computer programs supports sending, transmitting, and receiving radiological images, thus boosting efficiency and accuracy without skincare experts being present with patients.
The main benefit of implementing telemedicine services is the ability to provide medical services to patients with limited access to health care. Although Telehealth promotes global patient-clinician interaction allowing delivery of medical advice from a distance, there is a need for further research into appropriate types of telehealth applications, depending on target users and the specific skin care concerns. Relevant stakeholders in healthcare should also focus on developing and implementing simple Telehealth systems that are user-friendly to patients.