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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 144-148

Teledermatology in the era of COVID-19, perspective from a developing country: Are we future-ready?

1 Department of Dermatology, Dr. Sampurnanand Medical College, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Sardar Patel Medical College, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India
3 Departments of Dermatology, Mittal Hospital, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India
4 Department of Orthopaedics, Dr. Sampurnanand Medical College, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Kamaldeep Singh
9/20, Vidhyadhar Nagar, Jaipur - 302 039, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cdr.cdr_46_21

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Background: With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical fraternity across the world, including India, is facing unprecedented challenges, and to cope with this, creative solutions are required. During this COVID-19 crisis, telemedicine has emerged as a weapon to reduce disease transmission while continuing with non-COVID care. Objectives: The purpose of this study is to highlight the changes and challenges in dermatology practice, to explore the usefulness of tele-dermatology during the pandemic, and to understand the dermatologist's perspective. Materials and Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was done among Indian dermatologists to evaluate the changes in their practice, impact of telemedicine, and their experience, during COVID-19. Results: A total of 177 responses from qualified Indian dermatologists were analyzed. Teleconsultation was done by 20.5% of consultants before lockdown which increased up to 82% after lockdown. Most commonly preferred device was mobile phone (83%), and the most common format was chat applications (WhatsApp/Messenger) (55.7%). Discontinued consultation was due to technical issues, patient's misbehavior, and poor-quality clinical photographs. Only 13.5% of practitioners were satisfied with teledermatology. Conclusion: With the onset of the COVID-19, the shift of clinical care to telemedicine practice has hastened. However, continuous investment in systems and technology as well as refinement of regulations for telemedicine is needed to sustain its widespread adoption.

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