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Dermatology Online Journal

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The Impact of teledermatology during the COVID-19 pandemic


Teledermatology has been widely adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic as virtual patient care promotes social distancing and decreases viral exposure risk. As teledermatology has become more prominent during this period, it is essential to assess whether virtual visits allow for adequate patient care. To assess perceptions of advantages and disadvantages of teledermatology, a survey was sent to academic dermatologists through the Association of Professors of Dermatology (APD) listserv. Of the physicians surveyed, 94% reported their departments had implemented teledermatology during the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority (64%) described teledermatology as an effective tool for patient care because of improved access to care, decreased risk of COVID-19 exposure, and convenience. Frequently cited limitations of teledermatology were image quality, technical difficulties, and inability to perform a comprehensive skin examination. Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported teledermatology as a contributor to their professional burnout. Although teledermatology has become more prevalent as a result of the pandemic, its role moving forward is uncertain given its limitations.

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