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In Skin health and disease

Background : Elderly patients in senior communities faced high barriers to care during the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased vulnerability to COVID-19, long quarantines for clinic visits, and difficulties with telemedicine adoption.

Objective : To pilot a new model of dermatologic care to overcome barriers for senior living communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and assess patient satisfaction.

Methods : From 16 November 2020 to 9 July 2021, this quality improvement programme combined in-residence full body imaging with real-time outlier lesion identification and virtual teledermatology. Residents from the Sequoias Portola Valley Senior Living Retirement Community (Portola Valley, California) voluntarily enroled in the Stanford Skin Scan Programme. Non-physician clinical staff with a recent negative COVID-19 test travelled on-site to obtain in-residence full body photographs using a mobile app-based system on an iPad called SkinIO that leverages deep learning to analyse patient images and suggest suspicious, outlier lesions for dermoscopic photos. A single dermatologist reviewed photographs with the patient and provided recommendations via a video visit. Objective measures included follow-up course and number of skin cancers detected. Subjective findings were obtained through patient experience surveys.

Results : Twenty-seven individuals participated, three skin cancers were identified, with 11 individuals scheduled for a follow up in-person visit and four individuals starting home treatment. Overall, 88% of patients were satisfied with the Skin Scan programme, with 77% likely to recommend the programme to others. 92% of patients agreed that the Skin Scan photographs were representative of their skin. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, 100% of patients felt the process was safer or comparable to an in-person visit. Despite overall appreciation for the programme, 31% of patients reported that they would prefer to see dermatologist in-person after the pandemic.

Conclusions : This programme offers a framework for how a hybrid skin scan programme may provide high utility for individuals with barriers to accessing in-person clinics.

Trinh Pavin, Yekrang Kiana, Phung Michelle, Pugliese Silvina, Chang Anne Lynn S, Bailey Elizabeth E, Ko Justin M, Sarin Kavita Y