Q: How are physicians using telemedicine services to see skin cancer patients during the COVID-19 crisis?
As many aspects of our lives have changed due to COVID-19, clinical practice has also evolved to meet our patients’ dermatologic needs. To practice social distancing and conserve personal protective equipment, dermatologists are transitioning to telemedicine as the new format to treat their patients. These virtual visits allow dermatologists to “see” their patients and continue to care for their skin. With multiple platforms approved for use during this time, it is a convenient way for patients to safely connect with their dermatologists in the comforts of their own homes.
Telemedicine is especially critical for skin cancer patients as it enables their dermatologists to remain informed of any changes in their skin, continue the conversation on photoprotection, and advise on how to best care for their skin during this pandemic. Furthermore, while many skin cancer surgeries are currently on hold, there are medical therapies available for certain precancers and skin cancers, which can be initiated and monitored through telemedicine. Therefore, even with social distancing, dermatologists remain committed to their patients’ skin health!
About the Expert:
Anna Chien, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the Associate Professor of Dermatology at The John Hopkins School of Medicine and part of The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Photobiology Committee.