State of teledermatology programs in the United States
Teledermatology programs in the United States have evolved over the past several decades. No systematic survey of teledermatology programs in the United States is available in peer-reviewed literature.
To provide up-to-date information regarding the state of teledermatology programs in the United States.
Active U.S. teledermatology programs were surveyed in 2011 with regards to practice models, clinical volume, and payment methods. These findings were compared with those from 2003.
By January 2012, 37 teledermatology programs were active in the United States. Store-and-forward teledermatology was the most frequent delivery modality offered by 30 (81%) of the programs. The majority of the programs were based at academic institutions (49%), followed by Veterans Administration hospitals (27%), private practice (16%), and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) (8%). The majority of programs (67%) provided services to their home state only, whereas the rest also served additional U.S. states or abroad. The median number of consultations per program was 309 (range, 5-6500) in 2011. The most frequent payer sources were private payers, followed by self-pay, Medicaid, Medicare, and HMOs. Since 2003, with the confirmed discontinuation of 24 previously active programs, the total number of active teledermatology programs in 2011 was 60% of that in 2003. However, the annual consult volume per program nearly doubled for the sustainable programs in 2011.
Itemized billing information was not uniformly available from all programs.
The turnover in teledermatology programs is relatively constant, with an increase in consult volume for sustainable programs. Store-and-forward is the dominant modality of delivery, while hybrid technology model is emerging.
Available from: Undine Knarvik
- "International comparisons regarding telemedicine activity can also be useful in terms of clinical specialties. In a recent systematic survey of the state of teledermatology in the United States, the median number of teleconsultations per site in 2011 was 3,650 and 1,200 for health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and government-associated programs (38), respectively, a higher use compared to routine teledermatology in Norwegian hospitals (Table 6). "
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
Telemedicine appears to be ready for wider adoption. Although existing research evidence is useful, the adoption of routine telemedicine in healthcare systems has been slow.
We conducted a study to explore the current use of routine telemedicine in Norway, at national, regional, and local levels, to provide objective and up-to-date information and to estimate the potential for wider adoption of telemedicine. Design : A top-down approach was used to collect official data on the national use of telemedicine from the Norwegian Patient Register. A bottom-up approach was used to collect complementary information on the routine use of telemedicine through a survey conducted at the five largest publicly funded hospitals.
Results show that routine telemedicine has been adopted in all health regions in Norway and in 68% of hospitals. Despite being widely adopted, the current level of use of telemedicine is low compared to the number of face-to-face visits. Examples of routine telemedicine can be found in several clinical specialties. Most services connect different hospitals in secondary care, and they are mostly delivered as teleconsultations via videoconference.
Routine telemedicine in Norway has been widely adopted, probably for geographical reasons, as in other settings. However, the level of use of telemedicine in Norway is rather low, and it has significant potential for further development as an alternative to face-to-face outpatient visits. This study is a first attempt to map routine telemedicine at regional, institutional, and clinical levels, and it provides useful information to understand the adoption of telemedicine in routine healthcare and to measure change in future updates.
Available from: Thomas S Nesbitt
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Store-and-forward (S&F) teledermatology has been used to increase patient access to dermatologic care. A major challenge to implementing S&F teledermatology is selecting secure and cost-saving applications for data capture and transmission. Detailed analyses and comparison of the major S&F teledermatology applications do not exist in the current peer-reviewed literature. The objectives of this study were to identify, evaluate, and compare the major S&F teledermatology applications in the United States to help referral and consultant sites select applications responsive to their needs.
We identified four major, commercially available S&F teledermatology applications after surveying the members of the American Telemedicine Association Teledermatology Special Interest Group and the Telemedicine Task Force of the American Academy of Dermatology. A multidisciplinary team of dermatologists, primary care physicians, and information technologists established a set of criteria used to evaluate the applications. We performed a comparative analysis of the four major S&F teledermatology applications based on the predetermined evaluation criteria.
The four major, commercially available S&F teledermatology applications evaluated in this study were Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network, Medweb, TeleDerm Solutions, and Second Opinion. All four teledermatology applications were mature and capable of addressing the basic needs of S&F teledermatology referrals and consultations. Each application adopts different approaches to organize medical information and facilitate consultations. Areas in need of improvement common to these major applications include (1) increased compatibility and integration with established electronic medical record systems, (2) development of fully integrated billing capability, (3) simplifying user interface and allowing user-designed templates to communicate recommendations and patient education, and (4) reducing the cost of the applications.
The four major S&F teledermatology applications in the United States are versatile applications capable of facilitating communication between referral and consultant sites. Continued efforts in making these applications more secure, robust, user-friendly, and affordable will contribute to wider implementation of S&F teledermatology.
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.