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Dermatology Online Journal

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Pediatric teledermatology: a tool for combating dermatology care disparities


Social distancing requirements associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have allowed for the expansion of different healthcare delivery modalities. Namely, there has been an increase in the utilization of remote diagnostic services for both primary and specialist care. Dermatology care has traditionally been inaccessible to many pediatric patients; this is due in part to a limited number of practicing pediatric dermatologists, as well as a maldistribution of the pediatric dermatology workforce with the majority of providers located in large metropolitan areas. There is therefore a need for an accessible alternative for care to reach underserved patient populations. This commentary highlights evidence from recent studies on remote dermatology care (teledermatology) and how it has not only improved access to dermatologic care but also quality of care. Although teledermatology does not completely replace traditional in-person visits and is limited by poor broadband access in traditionally underserved areas, teledermatology can, in some instances, be a cost-effective and efficient alternative for pediatric patients otherwise lacking dermatologic care.

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