The rise of telemedicine and the increasing use of online medical services reveals the trend toward digitized dermatology. While these technological advancements have streamlined and optimized patient care, making it more affordable, approachable, and most notably, accessible. Gradually emerging, the field of telemedicine does not only benefit patients but may also positively affect healthcare providers.
With the surge of smartphone technology, millions of applications have become available for both Android and Apple users – some of these may be especially useful for clinicians looking to improve patient care and job productivity. Software applications tailored to dermatologists are also becoming increasingly available, providing additional support for desktop use.
In a Dermatology Times article based on data presented at the 2019 Atlantic Derm conference, clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate, Daniel Mark Siegel, M.D., outlines the top ten must-have applications for dermatologists to use in their practice.
Top 10 Valuable Applications
1. The AAD Prior Authorization Drug Denial Letter Template
Courtesy of the American Academy of Dermatology, the free website offers a template to help dermatologists create individualized letters appealing a denial for a prescribed treatment for a patient. In just 4 easy steps, the site gathers data regarding the case and completes a concise appeal letter ready to be sent to the appeals department. For tired and burned out physicians, this template can take the stress out of securing treatment for patients.
2. Mohs Surgery Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) App
Developed by the AAD, ASDS, and several other health associations, the Mohs Surgery Appropriate Use Criteria App helps clinicians determine whether Mohs surgery is the correct treatment method for 270 unique scenarios. As there are many considerations in determining the treatment of skin cancer – including cancer type, location, and patient health profile – the app assists dermatologists in making the decision as to whether Mohs Surgery is the appropriate method for optimal patient outcomes.
3. Visual DX
A web-based support system for clinical decision-making, VisualDx aims to enhance diagnostic accuracy, aid healthcare providers in making therapeutic decisions, and improve patient safety. Using the system, clinicians are able to build a custom differential diagnosis, access patient-specific data, and cross-reference an expansive database of medical images. According to VisualDx statistics, 97% of physicians believe using their platform has improved patient care. Moreover, the system claims to have improved diagnostic accuracy by 120% in a random blind study and saved clinicians 26 minutes of work per day.
4. DermLite X
With the rise of telemedicine, smartphone cameras, and patient self-documentation, physicians face an increased risk of HIPAA-compliancy issues. DermLite X is an application that aids clinicians in securing health information by storing patient images in a HIPAA-compliant manner to prevent potential liability in the case of lost, stolen, or misplaced devices.
5. Google Voice and Doximity
Experts recommend using Google Voice to preserve privacy, ensure HIPAA-compliancy, and mitigate costs associated with phone lines. Google Voice can be used to for post-operative care information, main office numbers after hours, and to conceal personal phone numbers when calling patients privately through the Doximity dialer app, which displays office numbers instead of unknown caller messages as with *67.
ChartBuilder builds, saves, and prints personalized ICD-10 charts. Using the BulkConverter feature, clinicians can easily convert ICD-9 codes to ICD-10 in a single click, saving time and energy on burdensome administrative tasks.
Although it is not yet available in the United States, SkinVision is a promising tool developed in the U.K. to assist in early detection of skin cancer. Using a complex algorithm, the app helps clinicians determine melanoma risk for a patient from uploaded photos of abnormal lesions and skin changes.
The number one free medical app for iOS and Android, GoodRx can help patients, regardless of insurance status, save up to 80% on their prescriptions. Recommending cost-saving solutions can help patients improve medication adherence, as cost is one of the primary reasons for not taking medication as prescribed.
Medscape’s free application, Epocrates, is the number one medical reference app, providing clinical reference data on drugs, diseases, diagnostics, and patient management. The application can be used to support clinical decisions, save valuable time, and help clinicians dedicate their full attention to patients. A premium version is available, called Epocrates Plus, which delivers even more clinical intelligence – including clinical practice guidelines, in-depth disease content, and alternative medicines.
10. Pubmed On Tap
PubMed On Tap gives providers access to PubMed and PubMed Central on their smartphone device for $4.99. The app searches both platforms to find, display, and import reference data, proving useful for clinicians who need access to information on the go.
The list of clinically relevant applications goes on, however, these are some of the most widely used and highest-rated programs that have proven to improve patient care, increase productivity, and save precious time. Though not all are specialty-focused, the apps can help dermatologists and aesthetic medicine practitioners in particular with the increasing burden of administrative tasks – such as prior authorization forms and drug denial appeals – which are one of the leading causes of physician burnout.