In an effort to cut wait times for referrals, dermatologists in Quebec have developed a new web-based app called ‘DermaGO’, that allows doctors to consult with patients online, CBC News is reporting. The app’s co-founder Emilie Bourgeault said she got the idea for DermaGO after seeing a rapid increase in patients.
Bourgeault, who attributed the increased number of patients to growing awareness around skin cancer in the past few years, revealed that many patients wait months for an in-person appointment through government health insurance.
She added that it’s especially true in remote communities, like northern Ontario, where patients would see a family doctor, but then have to travel to cities like Sudbury or even Toronto to see a specialist. “Dermatology is a high-demand specialty,” she said over Skype. “Our system can’t absorb the demand.”
DermaGo allows users to upload photos of their skin condition and receive a response from one of six dermatologists on the roster with a diagnosis. The user pays a fee for a consult, and the price depends on how quickly they require a response.
“We’re trying to increase access and give choice to patients,” said Bourgeault.
She also stresses the importance of being innovative in health care, and to keep up with technology, all while sticking to the same guidelines as when a patient gets an in-person consult.
Check out the following video to find out how DermGO works.