Doctors trained in dermatology are extremely rare in East Africa and patients often have to travel long distances at great expense to be seen. Toby Maurer, MD, professor of clinical dermatology at IU School of Medicine, worked with colleagues in Kenya and Uganda to establish a teledermatology system to allow for the remote diagnosis of dermatologic conditions. Supported by the Department of Dermatology at IU School of Medicine and IU Health, clinicians at remote clinics utilize an iPad to photograph patients with skin issues which are then reviewed by the local dermatologist at a central location. The system allows for the diagnosis, triage, screening and linkage to care. Maurer estimates that 65 percent of patients can be treated without having to make a long journey to see a specialist in East Africa.
After seeing the benefits of the program in a resource-limited country, a similar system is in the implementation process in Indianapolis at Methodist Hospital. The innovation can eliminate the need for travel, reduce wait time and minimize no-shows. Maurer estimates that she has personally done more than 80,000 consults using the teledermatology system.
Contact: Toby Maurer, MD