App to send photos directly from patient to dermatologist

Dermatology services in the South East are using a patient-led mobile teledermatology application that enables patients to have their skin conditions  diagnosed. Patients are routinely referred by their GPs using the e-referral service (e-RS). Diagnosis and treatment plans are provided within three working days of receiving patient photographs.

The app is in place within 6 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the South East:

  • Coastal West Sussex
  • Mid-Sussex/Horsham
  • West Kent
  • North Kent
  • Rother and Hastings
  • Surrey Heath

All dermatology referrals from primary care practices within these areas are offered the app.

Other services that use the app include:

  • West Kent Dermatology Service
  • Sussex Community Dermatology Service
  • Surrey Community Dermatology Service

Trusts that use the app include:

  • Surrey and Sussex NHS Trust
  • Eastbourne District Hospital NHS Trust
  • Conquest Hospital, Hastings NHS Trust

Situation

In order to manage the increasing demand for dermatology services in the South East, dermatologists developed an app to manage referrals and provide advice and guidance to patients and their GPs.

Aspiration

The aim of the app was to provide patients with a swift diagnosis from a consultant dermatologist within 72 hours, reducing the need for face-to-face clinic appointments and improving waiting times.

Solution and impact

The MySkinDoctor app allows patients to take and upload photographs of their skin condition along with any other information that they feel is relevant to their case. This submission is joined up with their GP referral and medical summary into the electronic record system used by the dermatologist. The dermatologist reviews the case and communicates a diagnosis and treatment plan to both the patient and their GP. This has resulted in a reduction in first consultations and reduced waiting times.

Functionality

  • Cloud-based
  • Allows a patient to relate their skin problem directly to a dermatologist using words and photographs
  • The dermatologist communicates directly with the patient, completing a diagnosis and treatment plan within three working days
  • The plan includes a face-to-face appointment, a direct surgical booking or advice and guidance that can be delivered by their GP
  • It can also share information with electronic record systems so that all data is brought together on the NHS spine

Capabilities

  • Upload patient photos and information directly from smartphones and submit them for dermatologist review
  • Share data with electronic record systems
  • Communicate and send diagnosis treatment plans to patients and GPs
  • Book patients into surgery
  • Referral management tool
  • Not an electronic record system

Scope

  • Patients can use the app to send their information to a dermatologist from anywhere with an internet connection
  • Can be used by a patient’s carers to submit photographs and clinical information

Key figures/quotes 

In the first nine months of 2020, the MySkinDoctor app was used to assess over 9,000 referrals in the South East area.

Clinical outcomes: 31% discharged back to GP; 25% booked directly for surgery; 40% seen in clinic; 4% referred for specialist services at tertiary referral centres. (Source: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.19093)

Find out more

Read more on the MySkinDoctor website

Presentation at British Association of Dermatologists Annual General Meeting 2020, Teledermatology and Digital Dermatology Symposium: MySkinDoctor: how we built a novel mobile phone app to undertake referral management and reduce consultations by over 50%. Shergill B, Emerson R, Morris A. British Journal of Dermatology 2020 (183 - Suppl 1). P169.

Key contact

Dr Bav Shergill, Sussex Community Dermatology Service, Brighton

bavshergill@nhs.net

Eve Beasley, teledermatology project and team lead at Sussex Community

eve.beasley@nhs.net