Palo Alto, CA (PRWEB) October 25, 2012
Direct Dermatology, the leading online tele-dermatology group in California, announced today the official launch of a direct-to-patient service that allows California residents the ability to access dermatologists directly without a referral. A simple visit to Direct Dermatology’s website gives patients quick and easy access to U.S. board-certified dermatologists.
The new service allows patients to directly consult with a dermatologist by simply setting up an account online, completing a medical history, and uploading images or photos of the skin problem. For a flat fee, patients receive a consult report from one of Direct Dermatology’s U.S. board-certified dermatologists explaining the diagnosis and treatment plan, which is provided in less than two business days. If needed, a prescription is sent to the patient’s selected pharmacy.
Direct Dermatology’s new direct-to-patient service provides a solution to the growing shortage or lack of dermatology care that is widespread across the United States. It is a departure from the typical experience or process with traditional dermatology clinics which usually involves sitting on a long wait-list for a dermatology appointment and then having to take time off from work to go to the dermatologist’s office.
To say that access to a dermatologist is difficult is an understatement considering the latest data. Studies have shown that in the U.S., it takes an average of 38 days (twice as long in some states) to obtain an appointment with a dermatologist. A 2010 study published in “Archives of Dermatology” reported that dermatologists represent only about 1 percent of physicians in the United States or about 3.2 dermatologists per 100,000 people.
Since opening its virtual doors, Direct Dermatology has established partnerships with health plans and health systems, much like the traditional brick and mortar dermatology clinics. This has allowed patients low to no-cost access to board-certified dermatologists through their existing health insurance or coverage. Unlike traditional dermatology clinics however, Direct Dermatology patients have quick and easy access to quality dermatology care.
Telemedicine and dermatology are a perfect match and solution to the growing need for dermatology care. As more consumers embrace telemedicine for its ease and convenience, insurers and employers are following suit as they see an answer to less expensive and easier access to doctors. The global telemedicine market will more than double over the next five years to $27.3 billion as reported by BCC Research. In the U.S., growth is expected as implementation of the healthcare reform has increased focus on telemedicine as a way to treat the growing number of people who will be seeking health insurance and medical services.
“The poor access to dermatologists continues to result in delayed detection of potentially life-threatening skin problems, such as melanoma,” says Dr. David Wong, CEO and co-founder of Direct Dermatology. “Early detection is critical and is now easier using telemedicine.”
Direct Dermatology’s online services are now available in California and will be expanding to other states soon. Direct Dermatology is accessible to patients and providers on the web at http://www.directdermatology.com.
About Direct Dermatology
Direct Dermatology was founded in 2010 as a response to the acute shortage of dermatology care for patients with skin conditions. Direct Dermatology’s mission is to allow medical providers the ability to access immediate consultative services with top quality and U.S. board-certified dermatologists for any of their patients' skin-related medical problems. Direct Dermatology also provides a means for general healthcare consumers to directly and easily access quality care through its online retail health services. Direct Dermatology is supported by the California Healthcare Foundation Innovation Fund.