Telemedicine for dermatology: 
core capabilities and use cases

Telemedicine for dermatology: core capabilities and use cases

April 19, 2023

How telemedicine for dermatology works

Telemedicine for dermatology allows patients to receive recommendations and non-invasive care for their skin conditions without the need to travel to the doctor’s office, saving costs and time.

A patient with a skin conditionTeledermatology app(store-and-forward model)Additional tests or diagnostic procedures(with an IoT device or in a lab)Teledermatology appointment(live video consultation)ReferralOffline dermatology appointmentReferralTreatment (either at home with specialists’ guidance via teledermatology app or in the hospital if needed)Follow-up care via teledermatologyA patient with a skin conditionTeledermatology app(store-and-forward model)Additional tests or diagnostic procedures(with an IoT device or in a lab)Teledermatology appointment(live video consultation)ReferralTreatment (either at home with specialists’ guidance via teledermatology app or in the hospital if needed)Follow-up care via teledermatologyReferralOffline dermatology appointment

Key capabilities of telemedicine for dermatology

Telemedicine solutions for dermatology could have different underlying technology, but most have five capabilities essential for providing quality care to patients.


Secure messaging, image, and video sharing High-quality video and audio conferencing Appointment scheduling

Referrals management Electronic prescriptions

Monitoring and analysis

Skin condition monitoring with the help of RPM tools Medical image and data analysis

Pattern identification Personalized prevention strategies

Patient education

Video, audio, image, and text library

Patient knowledge assessment tools

Data management

Session records’ secure storage Symptoms and health log updates

Integration with EHR/EMR systems


Compliance with all industry privacy and security regulations Secure data transfer and communication protocols

Role-based access Two-step authorization

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Teledermatology practice models

Virtual dermatology relies on practice models that include high-quality images and/or video chats for initial diagnostics and further personalized treatment plans more than other telemedicine solutions.

Chart title: Teledermatology practice models
Data source: — Practice models and challenges in teledermatology: a study of collective experiences from teledermatologists.

Store and forward

A telemedicine platform enables patients to safely store and exchange messages, symptom logs, lab test results, and images or video recordings of their skin condition with their care provider. In exchange, the patient can receive skin care recommendations, prescriptions, and referrals to other specialists.

Live video consultation

A telemedicine app helps virtual care providers to communicate with their patients in real time and diagnose particular skin conditions handling online dermatology appointments and examining patients through video and remote monitoring solutions.

Teledermatology use cases

Usually, virtual dermatology can be applied in the same cases as in-office consultations.

Teledermatology use cases

Physicians can assess patients in the order they come in, prioritize their cases based on severity, and determine the next steps: whether a patient needs an offline appointment, a diagnostic procedure, or an online consultation.

General practitioners can consult a dermatologist via a telemedicine app, or a dermatologist can refer a patient to another specialist, care facility, or offline care.

Online dermatologists can review patients’ medical history, symptom logs, images or videos to answer patients’ questions, diagnose skin conditions, and provide treatment recommendations via video consultation or messaging.

Virtual dermatology professionals can prescribe medical treatments to be ordered online. They can also validate the refills of the prescription if necessary or review the patient's adverse reaction claims.

Telemedicine for dermatology patients that received in-hospital care can help them stay connected to their provider after discharge without the need to come to the office frequently while still closely monitoring their skin condition.

Suitable and unsuitable skin conditions

Telemedicine software allows dermatologists to diagnose and treat multiple skin conditions accurately. However, it is not suitable in some cases. Therefore, providers must be flexible when offering virtual and offline patient support.

Can be diagnosed and treated through virtual visits
Highly visible common skin, nail, and hair loss conditions (rashes, acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, dermatitis, and some kinds of infection)
Can be diagnosed online and then treated offline
Any skin concerns and conditions that require procedural treatment (injections, special creams, massage, cryotherapy, etc.)
Can’t be diagnosed and treated via telemedicine
Skin issues that need investigation with a dermatoscopy or biopsy (cancer-like lesions, melanoma, warts, suspicious moles, etc.)

Real-life examples of telemedicine in dermatology


DermEngine is an AI-powered teledermatology solution by MetaOptima Technology used for imaging, documentation, and analysis of skin conditions. It uses award-winning intelligent technology to help dermatology care providers detect the most elusive diseases, including various skin cancers. Coupled with the remote diagnostic device MoleScope, this telemedicine app is easy to use and affordable for clinic-based dermatologists and independent practitioners.

UConn Health

The Department of Dermatology at UConn Health offers patients a way to stay safe from hospital-borne infections, cut care costs, and save time by connecting to their dermatologist via telemedicine software. With the help of both store-and-forward and live consulting teledermatology models, UConn Health medical professionals reach vulnerable groups of patients who can’t travel to the board-certified dermatologist’s office, follow up with patients after discharge, and prescribe treatment refills.

Essential integrations

While telemedicine solutions have proved advantageous for dermatology, integrations with other healthcare software can double or even triple its benefits.
Essential integrations
Patient portals
Patient portals
Billing and insurance management software
Laboratory information system
Healthcare IoT
Hospital management software

Enable patients to request appointments, message their doctor, and get complete information about their condition – all via a patient portal.

View, manage, and share patient health information securely between different specialists by connecting telehealth software to EMR/EHR systems.

Billing and insurance management software

Facilitate payments for virtual visits and get revenue faster by connecting your telehealth services software to health insurance and financial software.

Order and receive patients’ test results faster by facilitating secure data transfer between your telemedicine app and third-party laboratory information systems.

Examine your patients’ condition in real time, monitor it 24/7 remotely, and even conduct treatment procedures during virtual visits with the help of smart medical devices.

Set task reminders and distribute technical, medical, and facility resources according to each specialist’s virtual appointment schedule.

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Benefits and limitations of telemedicine for dermatology

It is vital for providers to have realistic expectations and understand teledermatology solution’s strong and weak sides before starting the adoption journey.

  • Medical personnel’s time efficiency
  • Improved patient education
  • Resource optimization
  • Flexible schedules for the staff
  • No unnecessary exposure to hospital-related infections
  • Expanded area coverage
  • Reimbursement rate might be lower than for in-person appointments
  • Software must comply with the regulations that vary from state to state
  • Diagnosing capability is lower compared to in-person visits
  • Setup might be costly for smaller organizations
  • Sufficient personnel training might be expensive
  • Some physicians worry that telemedicine depersonalizes consultations

Best practices for teledermatology adoption

Whether you want to turn your organization into a virtual hospital or add telemedicine to your dermatology services, implementing best practices will contribute to your project’s success.

Include dermatology specialists – the solutions’ primary users – in the implementation team.

Identify all workflows that should be improved to determine the required features.

Provide appropriate usage and security training to all involved employees.

Choose a reliable vendor with a good support team, monitor your solution’s performance continuously, and update when needed.

Assure the solution’s full integration into your organization’s healthcare IT ecosystem.

Provide your patients with an easy way to pay for telemedicine services to speed up the reimbursement cycle.

Make sure your software is HIPAA-compliant and follows necessary security guidelines for telemedicine.

Clearly understand the goals you want to achieve with the help of telemedicine software.

Teledermatology implementation best practices

Implement teledermatology with ease

Telemedicine transforms every area of healthcare, including dermatology. Medical specialists can now provide dermatology consultations and virtual care from anywhere, which creates an opportunity for a more comfortable life-work balance. In addition, they can get revenue faster and communicate with more patients, including those from underserved areas. However, teledermatology has its implementation intricacies, as it relies heavily on the quality of images and video transferred between patients and providers, as well as additional remote patient monitoring tools for more accurate diagnostics. Our experts understand the unique challenges providers face while adopting telehealth and ensure a smooth and easy process for our clients from the consulting stage to the post-implementation support.
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