Dermatology patients will no longer have to endure long wait times on the telephone or in the waiting room. All this is thanks to DermaGO; a Canadian invention. It’s the first and most secure web-based application to provide quick and direct access to reputable and certified dermatologists. Patients now have personalized and patient-centric analysis, diagnosis and treatment of minor skin complaints at the click of their keyboards and mobile phones. And, all from the comfort of their home within 24 or 72 hours.
The need for this technology is evident, a survey conducted in 2017 by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows that 56% of Canadians have to wait longer than four weeks to see a medical specialist. “It is clear to us that the best way to improve access to dermatology is through telemedicine. Whether it’s to obtain a first or second opinion, with DermaGO a dermatologist is only ever a few clicks away and users don’t need a referral from a general practitioner” says dermatologist and DermaGO co-founder Dr. Marc-André Doré.
DermaGO is a concept developed by two Quebec dermatologists seeking to improve accessibility to dermatology services. It’s designed to also help relieve strain on the healthcare system, provide access to patients living in remote areas and to give the public access to quick analysis, diagnosis and treatment for minor skin complaints. The first iteration was launched in 2017 to the Quebec patient market with incredible success.
Secure, personalized and patient-centric
DermaGO patients create a secure personal medical file, in which they provide all their details including a health insurance number. Precise instructions are then provided to ensure high-quality photos are submitted by the patient to assist the dermatologist to make an accurate diagnosis. Based on the patient’s decision for a 24- or 72-hour diagnosis time after submitting their case, they will confer with a dermatology doctor who then provides a medical opinion.
Professional and credible
The application is supported by a team of six certified, professional and experienced dermatologists who are working in the dermatology healthcare industry while practicing in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. They are subject to the same code of ethics and professional conduct as when they are performing their duties at their medical practice.
It is important to note that DermaGO does not replace an in-person consultation for more serious conditions and skin cancer screening. “Our first priority is the health of our patients. Our dermatologists will always refer patients for an in-person doctor’s visit if they deem that the case submitted requires a more thorough examination,” DermaGO co-founder Dr. Émilie Bourgeault points out.
Reliable and accurate
“Science has demonstrated time and again the diagnostic accuracy of telemedicine, especially when it comes to a speciality such as dermatology where the diagnosis is almost always based on visual observation,” Dr. Bourgeault adds. The vast majority of minor ailments (psoriasis, eczema, hair loss, acne, etc.) can be diagnosed and then treated using the application, with less than 2% of cases registered on DermaGO needing to be referred for an in-person doctor’s visit.
Fast and easily accessible
The fast track service available through the web-portal, allowing users to obtain a diagnosis in less than 24 hours, costs $249.99. The basic 72-hour service is priced at $179.99.