In this article we analyze new scenarios and business cases of teledermatology.
The pharmacies business case
In the last years in U.S.A. there was the acquisition of chains of pharmacies by big insurance companies to be used for telemedicine services including teledermatology (e.g. CVC – a network of 10,000 pharmacies across USA – purchased by AETNA; Wallgreen and RITE joining with an insurer to implement teledermatology).
Due to the rising rate of skin conditions like cancer, visionary insurance companies are offering early detection and prevention services.
In Europe experiments are in progress in various countries such as UK, Ireland, Italy, France and Spain.
The first teledermatology service using total body photography
A teledermatology service using 3D total body photography was implemented in 2021 by Dermatology Solutions in Central Queensland, Australia; it is the first in the world. It uses the Canfield’s WB360 system equipped with 92 high-definition cameras. The system generates detailed, high resolution 3D images that – by using DICOM file sharing and communication technology - are sent first to dermatologists for assessment and diagnosis, then made available to the patient’s GP. The system images the patient’s body and by using 3D body mapping technology allows to identify, localize and track suspicious lesions and rashes.
It is an example of centralization of sophisticated and expensive image acquisition equipment to get an intense use and a fast return of the investment while decentralizing the second dermatology step of image assessment.