The Use of Technology in Providing Dermatologic Care to Vulnerable Populations [editorial]

I looked over my e-mail on a summer morning in 2008 and found a message that a patient in a small village in Botswana may benefit from my opinion of her rash. The consultation had originated on a mobile telephone in her hometown and was sent via secure messaging through a Web site co-hosted by the University of Pennsylvania. In considering this volunteer work, my thoughts were of the vulnerable people of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who also have trouble getting a dermatology consultation for their itchy skin, as the free clinics where they get general medical care do not have dermatologists associated with them. Why can’t such an easy-to-use system work for our own countrymen and women in the United States?

Listen to Dr. James' audiocast on dermatologic care for patients in need here.


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