Three patients narrate DermView Limited’s specialists’ expert handling of their urgent referrals for tests and modern management of dermatology and skin disorder clinical cases
Patients have lauded a new service, which eliminates the stress and anxiety of waiting to get a diagnosis from a consultant dermatologist, for a mole, lesion, or rash. DermView Teledermatology scans up to five areas of the body including intimate areas before they are reviewed remotely by one of their 15 consultant dermatologists for a €160 consultation fee.
On average, a consultation will take up to 20 minutes and results will be available within 30 days.
DermView consultants will see a rash, but patients will require a referral from their general practitioner (GP) as there is a strong possibility that further management will be required from a doctor.
They have 22 existing clinics open in Westmeath, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Mayo, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, and Wexford. New clinics that are scheduled to open by the end of this year include Limerick, Galway, Tralee, and Monaghan.
In May 2019, acne started to become a major issue for Grace McCormack of Celbridge, Co Kildare and she spent a lot of money on unsuccessful treatments until she discovered DermView had a clinic near the saloon where she works as a hairdresser in Naas.
About 10 days after a GP referral, the 26-year-old looked at the available appointments and booked herself into the clinic. Grace felt really at ease in the clinic once she entered because all the necessary Covid-19 precautions such as staff wearing masks and hand sanitiser were in place. A nurse explained what she was going to do during the consultation, took specialist photographs and applied sanitiser every time she touched something. Three weeks after her initial appointment, Grace was contacted by DermView’s Dr Rupert Barry — a consultant dermatologist and Mohs micrographic surgeon — who diagnosed her acne as acne vulgaris, and later examined her face in St James’ Hospital, Dublin and advised her of possible side effects.
“If I had known about DermView sooner, it would have saved me 18 months of heartache and I would have gone to their clinic straight away.
“It is a massive weight off my shoulders. I felt DermView’s service was very professional. The staff are brilliant, my care was amazing, and I am really happy with the outcome. I could have waited up to five years as a public patient, but I had all the treatment I needed completed within six weeks,” she said.
On July 29, a GP found a facial growth on Neil Curtis of Piltown, Kilkenny, and referred him to a consultant in his regional hospital. Tired of waiting, Neil, aged 73, contacted DermView and got an appointment three days later to go to his local clinic for a scan on August 25. Staff took photographs of his face and ones with a special camera. They could see the blood vessels underneath with the photographs taken from their special camera. On August 31, DermView sent him a password protected email with his diagnosis. Having reviewed Neil’s scan, Dr Barry explained very clearly that he had an aggressive large facial skin cancer and needed to be treated as an urgent case. Four weeks to the day Neil contacted DermView, Dr Barry removed the skin cancer in St James’s Hospital, which gave him great relief.
“I have a scar from my jaw to near my eye. I wish that I had known about DermView earlier, as I might have had a smaller scar and maybe not have needed radiation. If I hadn’t the opportunity to avail of the DermView service, I could be dead. I would recommend DermView 100 per cent to other patients. Overall, staff provide a superb service. It is great to have a service where a consultant dermatologist can view your scan so quickly and determine whether or not it is an urgent case,” he said.
On Monday, August 24, Pat Conway of Coolkill, Sandyford, Dublin 18, was referred by his GP to DermView to check out some facial discolouration. Two days later, Pat (70) was contacted by DermView, which totally shocked him it was so quick. Pat was really impressed by a lady from DermView who explained step-by-step what was going to happen and told him their clinic was in Carrickmines just 10 minutes up the road.
For the first appointment, a nurse took photographs on both sides of his face. He was fascinated with the use of voice-activated technology. The quality of the pictures was astonishing. He could see the capillaries on his skin it was so clear. The nurse was very good explaining the procedure and what happens afterwards.
It was a really good experience and only took about 40 minutes. On Monday, September 7, he was contacted with another appointment for a procedure on September 10 in St James Hospital after Dr Barry reviewed his case and medical history. Dr Barry took out the melanoma using a 2-millimetre margin.
“It took just 17 days from the time my GP sent a referral note to being on the table having it removed. That is magic. I was amazed by this time period.
“On October 2, I got the laboratory results during a consultation, which is a very quick turnaround. The whole DermView experience was very good with texts, emails and phone calls. There was a lovely free flow of information available all the time, so I wasn’t uptight about anything.
“If DermView wasn’t available, I could be waiting for six months even though I have private health insurance. It could be up to five years for a public appointment,” he said.
This article was first published on 3 December 2020 by Irish Medical Times. You can read the original article here.