Early detection of melanoma is crucial for disease prognosis and survival rate. The Primary Care Innovations Programme has partnered with Gnosco to implement and evaluate the Dermicus teledermatology Platform across all GP locations on the Isle of Wight.
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The expertise of dermatologists is made accessible for the General Practitioners (GPs) within the first patient encounter. The Dermicus system includes a mobile phone, a dermatoscope, Dermicus mobile application and web platform. The GP uses mobile teledermoscopy to send clinical data and images through the Dermicus mobile application to the web platform. The dermatologists analyse the data on the platform and produce a standardised clinical report, typically within 24-48hrs. Through this secure platform the GP can easily get access to rapid diagnosis and clinical recommendations for patients, minimising the need for face-to-face consultations with specialist dermatologists.
Over the past two weeks, I have been unable to visit the Island, since I have two risk factors to my health. However, I have still been able to offer a consultant opinion, with the confidence that this is accurate and useful. - Dr Richard Ashton, Dermatology Consultant
How did the Innovation Exchange help?
Wessex AHSN facilitated implementation and real-world testing of the Dermicus teledermatology platform, which is a crucial step to gather evidence of benefits and wider impact in the system. Next steps will be scaling up within the NHS to support remote consultations and support application to various NHS procurement frameworks.
Impact & Outcomes
The outcomes from the evaluation undertaken are:
- Response to initial referral typically within one day with an average time to referral of 0.6 days, compared to a previous average on the Isle of Wight of approximately four weeks
- Reduction in unnecessary face-to-face consultations and increase in consultant capacity
- Reduction in cost to NHS of providing dermatology services through 45% of remote referrals being resolved with advice and guidance
- Patients booked straight into biopsy when required as a first consultation with dermatologists
- Reduction in follow-up appointments
- Capability to continue dermatology service during the Covid-19 Pandemic