There are a number of reasons why one might choose to submit a case to an online dermatologist or nurse practitioner licensed to diagnose, prescribe, and otherwise treat skin conditions in your state. First, there’s the quick turn-around time. Tried to get a traditional appointment with a dermatologist lately? The average wait time nationwide is 38 days, but that nearly doubles to 73 days in Boston. With an online consultation, you can get an answer much faster; generally within 24 hours.
Modesty is another concern. Some people would prefer to submit a photo of certain areas rather than to show those areas in person. Not to mention safety. No concerns about acquiring a nasty skin condition while sitting around the dermatologist’s waiting room.
Cost is certainly another factor. Online consultations at skinofmine.com vary in price, but are generally in the $30 to $50 range. Roughly the price of a co-pay, but for certain conditions not covered by insurance such as cosmetic issues, this can be a bargain.
Finally, there’s the convenience and flexibility of having your consultation available 24/7. No need to take time off from work, pay for gas or parking, or otherwise inconvenience yourself to access the healthcare system.
What you will get is an entirely new way to interface with the nation’s traditional healthcare system. You can be diagnosed, written a prescription, given OTC recommendations and therapeutic advice, and alerted to helpful reading materials. Will this ever replace in-office visits completely? Of course not. (It’s really hard to do a biopsy remotely…) Handy from time to time? We think so.
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