6 Innovative Dermatology Apps for Doctors and Patients

The use of apps is on the verge of a breakthrough in dermatology, including in teledermatology.

Since the Miiskin app became available for Android in 2015 and iPhone in 2017, we have seen the availability of health apps increase year after year.

Apps are used for everything from running and fitness tracking to calorie counting. In recent years dermatology apps targeting dermatological conditions have also emerged.

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Smartphones and Apps for Support with Skin Conditions

Dermatological conditions are often clearly seen on the skin. As a result, patients and consumers increasingly use the cameras on their phones to track its appearance.

Naturally, apps are increasingly being developed to support this behavior. At the same time, smartphone apps are a powerful tool for educating a population about health-related issues in a more engaging manner than a website.

This article discusses the opportunities presented by dermatological apps, it mentions a few innovative dermatology apps and, of course, addresses how the Miiskin app can help people.

It concludes with information on how healthcare professionals can order free educational leaflets to hand out to their patients.

It’s important to remember that dermatological apps are not a replacement for medical consultation. You should always seek and follow the guidance of your dermatologist or GP.

Smartphone App Use for a Dermatological Diagnosis

Some companies are attempting to offer diagnostic dermatology apps to provide an instant diagnosis or assessment with an algorithm.

There are, however, many challenges with offering such an automatic dermatology diagnosis service through an app. You can read more about this topic in our article covering smartphone apps for a skin cancer diagnosis as it is out-of-scope for this article.

Because of the challenges in giving patient-specific advice, many apps are focusing instead on collecting and storing data such as images and patient records as well as supporting patient-led behavioral change – ideally with the oversight of the patient’s own physician.

Apps are also used to supply real-time information, such as the weather, which is relevant for some skin conditions.

Mobile Devices and Teledermatology – an Opportunity for a Strong Doctor-Patient Relationship

Mobile devices and teledermatology

Mobile devices are already used for a multitude of different purposes in dermatological settings. Some doctors use their mobile phone as a reference lookup tool, while others use mobile devices to access medical information from patients’ electronic health records or add new information to the records.

Some doctors and their patients use mobile devices for photographic monitoring of dermatological conditions or as a surveillance tool to monitor for skin changes.

Sometimes these photos are sent to a specialist.1

The transmission of visual information together with the patient’s dermatological history for a dermatological online consultation also fits into the umbrella of teledermatology.

There are two main variants of teledermatology employing visual information:2,3

  • Store-and-forward: Asynchronous transmission of still images of the skin together with the patient’s dermatological history for an online consultation.
  • Live interactive video: A real-time online interactive consultation with video and sound.

Both variants of teledermatology are increasingly utilised between two healthcare providers seeking a specialist opinion – also known as teletriage or etriage.

Sometimes the interaction is between consumers and a third-party healthcare practitioner in exchange for a fee, such as is the case in an online dermatologist service.

Teledermatology consultations are also increasingly used between patients and their dermatologist. This can enable the patient to get a quick assessment of a new symptom.

Furthermore, teledermatology can be used to follow up on a skin condition after the patient has initially seen the doctor in person. This is also known as remote patient monitoring.4

Patients also bring self-surveillance photos to consultations with their dermatologist or physician to share historical information on how their skin previously appeared or to document a skin change.

Sharing self-surveillance photos is in its asynchronous form related to store-and-forward teledermatology, but different in that it is combined with an in-person examination and interaction between the doctor and patient.

For more in-depth information on teledermatology, please read the Position Statement on Teledermatology by the American Academy of Dermatology.

Dermatology Apps Are Developed to Increase Efficiency and Security

With the ubiquitous availability of smartphones that can be used for teledermatology, self-surveillance and educational interventions, the patient-dermatologist relationship is set to fundamentally change.

However, mobile devices in themselves are not enough. The standard features and functionality offered by standard mobile device apps are useful but not tailored to the health-related tasks consumers are trying to undertake. Bespoke, high-quality and safe dermatology apps are therefore needed.

Such dermatological apps help with increased usability if using a mobile device for photo monitoring purposes. They can also help structure and present the patient’s information or be used to manage reminders to follow up on self-monitoring or prescribed treatment.

Any data, such as images, captured through a custom app can be encrypted and protected for security and privacy. Data can also be backed up in a secure cloud backup ensuring vital information is not lost. Medical images can be separated from day to day photos such as holiday snaps.

Teledermatology apps with a cloud connection can be used to securely transmit information, such as images of the skin and patient’s dermatological history, in-between healthcare providers or from the patient to the doctor.

It is therefore not surprising, given the many potential benefits, that a lot of researchers and developers are working on addressing the needs by developing tailor-made health apps as a layer on top of smartphones for managing a variety of dermatological conditions.

Six Mobile Apps for Dermatologists and Patients

As promised, in conclusion to this walk-through of the use of mobile apps in dermatology, we mention a few examples of dermatological apps. Below is a list of six mobile apps designed for doctors or patients – the list concludes with the Miiskin app.

Please note
Miiskin does not endorse or recommend any third-party app in this list and they have not been reviewed by any Miiskin-affiliated or collaborating medical professional. Please form your own opinion on these apps and most importantly ask your doctor for advice on any app you are considering using.

1. MDacne

This acne app claims to analyse your skin and based on your skin results, it creates a customised skincare routine.

Designed for: Patients

How it works:

You take a selfie, then the app is said to analyse your skin and based on the analysis, the company sends you a customized acne treatment kit with products specially formulated to treat your skin condition.

Features:

  • – Skin/acne analysis
  • – Unlimited access to chat with a dermatologist
  • – Free shipping

Available for: iPhone


2. Eczema Tracker

Eczema tracker that aims to help view, monitor, and analyse eczema.

Designed for: Patients

How it works:

This app helps track your habits and potential eczema triggers and uses analysis points and methods to help figure out what’s causing flare-ups.

Features:

  • – Graphs
  • – Includes aeroallergens such as the weather, pollen count, and mold.
  • – Track of your eczema triggers
  • – Maintain a record of images

Available for: iPhone and Android


3. AAD Chronic Hives Patient App

This app helps with chronic hives management.

Designed for: Patients

How it works:

The app provides information about chronic hives and aims to help patients find dermatologists or allergists. It also helps patients track their symptoms and identify possible triggers of the condition.

Features:

  • – Help patients learn more about hives
  • – Help patients find a dermatologist or allergist
  • – Helps to track symptoms
  • – Helps to identify potential triggers
  • – Send reminders for appointments and medications

Available for: iPhone and Android


4. Psoriasis Manager

This app enables patients with Psoriasis or Psoriatic Arthritis (PPA) to track and store health information between visits to their doctor.

Designed for: Patients and healthcare professionals

How it works:

The app may offer a connection between doctors and patients by providing a comprehensive knowledge base of medical conditions, full drug database, reference list, guidance, and insights from top clinician specialists.

Features:

  • – Keeps detailed information regarding the user’s health
  • – Reminders to manage medications and treatments
  • – Charts and Graphs
  • – Access to patient education materials
  • – Share information with a healthcare provider

Available for: iPhone and Android


5. Medscape

Can allow physicians and other healthcare professionals to access a global community to share cases, ask questions, and benefit from their knowledge and diverse experiences.

Designed for: Physicians, medical students, nurses, and other healthcare professionals

How it works:

Through the platform, doctors, students and healthcare professionals may get answers to questions they have.

Features:

  • – Visually identify drugs, OTCs, and supplements
  • – Easy check of drug combinations with Drug Interaction Checker
  • – Easy access to vital information for patient care
  • – Evidence-based disease & condition references
  • – Easy access to education material and the latest medical news

Available for: iPhone and Android


6. Miiskin

This app is a user-friendly tool to help patients and consumers alike track changes in their skin and moles over time.

Designed for: Patients and consumers

How it works:

The Miiskin app allows you to take photos and compare the photos of your skin and moles taken at different times to help you identify any potential changes.

Features:

  • – Help you detect your moles and other spots on your skin and create a mole map
  • – Keep the photos of your skin and moles separated from your phone’s gallery
  • – Sends reminders to follow on up your skin self-exams
  • – Easy access to education material about skin cancer topics

Available for: iPhone and Android


Conclusion

This concludes the list of a few innovative dermatology apps out there and some of the potential uses of apps in dermatology.

There is no doubt though that digital dermatology will develop a lot in years to come with apps being at the center of the development. We are still in the very beginning.

Learn more about the Miiskin app.

If you are a healthcare professional, looking to help your patients keep an eye on their skin or become smarter about skin cancer, you may also want to consider ordering free educational leaflets about skin cancer – created by Miiskin.

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