- Direct Dermatology, a company founded by a Stanford dermatologist, has introduced technology that lets patients take a picture of a skin problem and send that to Direct Dermatology along with their medical history; within two days, the patient will receive a report back from the company, along with any necessary prescriptions. This use of teledermatology targets rural patients without easy access to a medical lab or clinic and builds on the findings of a 2010 study suggesting that online dermatology visits are as effective as in-person appointments.
- Dermatologists in the Netherlands, meanwhile, have been using telemedicine technology to confer with general practitioners since 2005. In this time, studies have shown that daily consultations prevent unnecessary patient referrals in 74% of cases and reduce the cost of care by 18%.
9. Provide Mental Health Consultations to Children
Traumatic events can have a dramatic effect on children, especially if they already suffer from mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety or hyperactivity. That's why the Robert Wood John Foundation and the University of Texas Medical Branch established a Telemedicine for School-Based Mental Health program in Galveston, where the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008 left many children in emotional distress.
A report prepared at the conclusion of the six-year project showed that the teleconferencing counseling sessions were the first consultations with a mental health professional for many students. (Sixty percent of participants did not have health insurance.) Overall, nearly 70% of parents and guardians said the sessions helped their children perform better in school, and the telemedicine program as a whole helped Galveston County fill a need to treat students with severe mental health challenges, the report says.
10. Improve Rural Healthcare Around the World