TeleDermatology: A Report on Himachal Pradesh Tele Dermatology Services
Ravichandran G, Rajagopal A, Thinley Tsomo, Ganapathy K, Lovakanth N
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has provided new channels and means for providing quality health care services. Tele Dermatology is one such example, for application of ICT in health care. Himachal Pradesh Tele Health Services Programme, run as a Public Private Partnership, has been providing dermatology services, as one of its component.
Kaza and Keylong located at 3,600 meters from sea level, were identified for the provision of Tele Health Services under this programme. Wood’s lamp was provided at both the centers for examination of the skin lesion. The trained coordinators take the history of the patient before the specialist arrives for consultation, to increase the efficiency of the whole process. The process of tele-consultation is live interaction, where the dermatologist from Chennai examines the patients located at the centers through live video conferencing. Medications are dispensed by the coordinators based on the prescription provided by the specialist. Coordinators performed a field visit to areas, based on the prevalence of certain dermatological conditions in respective areas.
Till July 2016 a total of 419 patients have been benefited under these services. Out of the total, 229 were female patients and 190 were male patients, and all age groups ranging from 3months to 84 years utilized the services.Outbreaks of Tinea Capitis and hand foot mouth disease were identified and with the help of Government authorities, the community was sensitized to prevent further spread. Seborrheic dermatitis (49), acne (different types)(71) , tinea capitis (15) and eczema (26), were among the most commonly diagnosed conditions.
Findings & Conclusion:
The patients rated the satisfaction at 8, for the services provided. With limited literature available on Tele Dermatology in mountainous areas, this program, shows it impact in remote areas.