Scientific Programme
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Abstract
Year 2021
October 2021

SHBC1669

Abstract Title
Teledermatology in the COVID-19 Era – are our patients ready for it? A survey of patient’s perception and receptiveness towards it.
Authors

DAQ OH1, YW YEO2, CC OH2, SM PANG2, HY LEE2, KJL CHOO2 

Institutions

MOH Holdings Pte Ltd (MOHH)1, Singapore General Hospital2 

Background & Hypothesis

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed care provision models with a rapid increase in the adoption rate of telemedicine to reduce and/or replace in-person visits. Though there are many benefits to teledermatology, there are factors that hinder widespread adoption. We aim to identify and explore patients views to identify barriers to teledermatology.

Methods

A prospective study was conducted in an academic medical tertiary hospital in Singapore from 15 June to 14 Aug 2020. Patients were invited to complete a questionnaire in the outpatient dermatology clinic via direct approach by clinical staff or through posters pasted at the door of every consult room.

Results

294 patients (29.5%) were keen to change their next appointment to teledermatology, 166 patients (16.6%) were unsure and 537 patients (53.9%) decline to change their subsequent visit to teledermatology. Patient factors that were significant for declining teledermatology consult were the lack of prior exposure to videoconferencing ((OR 4.67 (3.16- 6.9)) and lower education level (OR 2.228 (1.41- 4.34) p =0.019)). Patients also raised concerns on the ability of teledermatology to address medical concerns (32.1%) and preference for face-to-face consultation (29.7%).

Discussion & Conclusion

Addressing patient concerns, IT literacy and prior usage of teleconferencing are modifiable factors that influence the patient decision on teledermatology adoption. Targeted strategies such as careful patient selection, a dedicated tele-consult workflow and the use of a novel ‘teledermatology patient journey’ that includes a walkthrough in clinic at the first visit, as well as intuitive audio enabled user interface, are needed to improve patient perception and adoption of teleconsultation service.

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