27. November 2019

A dermatologist on your smartphone

The University Hospital Basel is now offering an online dermatology consultation service. Patients take a photo of the change in their skin, complete a survey and pay by credit card for the service.

 

From now on, patients can get advice about their skin problems via their smartphones by going to www.hautproblem.ch and consulting a team of dermatologists at the University Hospital Basel. The University Hospital Basel is the first hospital in Switzerland to offer an online dermatology consultation service. In cooperation with the start-up derma2go AG, patients receive an expert dermatological opinion within 24 hours on a working day. This dermatology clinic service costs CHF 75 which is paid by the patients themselves.

The waiting time for an appointment with a dermatologist can often be several weeks. This is frustrating for both patients and the physicians in charge of their care. In cooperation with the Swiss start-up derma2go AG, the University Hospital Basel is offering an online consultation service for skin complaints, starting this week. Professor Alexander Navarini, Chief Physician in the Department of Dermatology at USB since 2018, was one of the founders of the start-up along with other dermatologists from Zurich. For him, dermatology is perfect for this type of online service, provided that data protection is guaranteed. In the case of the USB service, this is done using a two-factor authentication process.

The procedure is relatively easy: patients with skin problems can get advice directly from the dermatology team on the website hautproblem.ch. There are three steps they have to follow: take a photo of the change in their skin, complete a form and then pay by credit card. The response will appear in their inbox within 24 hours on a working day. It currently costs CHF 75 to use this service and this is not automatically covered by health insurance. Alexander Navarini sees the field of dermatology as ideal for this innovative method of diagnosis, as a visual assessment of the condition is very important. He also regards his online consultation service as a pilot project that other specialist disciplines will also adopt.