The field of dermatology is seeing substantial advancements in technological know-how and dealing with patients. More and more skin care specialists are turning to automation, and others are finding new ways to use old techniques. From using Botox to treat chronic migraine to lip filler specials that make it safer for you to get a beautiful pout.
As with most medical fields, dermatology is also taking advantage of the many advances in technology.
As the coronavirus pandemic hit many hospitals across the US, various medical services turned to telehealth or telemedicine to see, diagnose and treat their patients. Even dermatologists adopted this practice. Many teledermatology platforms that have emerged through the years make it easy for patients to get diagnosed from the comfort of their home.
Most use a model where patients could take a picture of their complaint, upload it to the platform and a dermatologist will diagnose and recommend treatment within hours, if not minutes. Most patients treated on these platforms are able to self-medicate after the consultation, while a small amount may need further testing. Either way, they get answers swiftly.
While data privacy is a common concern among patients, having consolidated data does help practitioners provide better care for their patients. The field of dermatology is no different. Most skin care specialists use the DataDerm, an information collection system introduced by the American Academy of Dermatology. It allows doctors to report their findings in easy-to-follow platform that can then be used to ensure that each patient gets quality care.
Robotics and AI
Who doesn’t like robots? Japan may be leading the way when it comes to robots, but dermatologists are not far behind. Some forms of skin cancer and other skin conditions are best treated through laser therapy and the use of robotic arms in treating these illnesses has shown a more uniform and consistent laser application. The study believes that it is a far superior procedure than if dermatologists do it manually.
Meanwhile, companies like IBM have allowed dermatologists to use their AI-powered computer to diagnose different forms of skin cancer more accurately. The machine, dubbed “Watson,” was able to identify melanoma with 76% accuracy, while eight human dermatologists were only 70% accurate.
3-D Printing and Regeneration
Can you imagine drafting skin through a 3-D printer? Well, imagine no more because several companies from around the world have shown that it is possible. These bioprinters have been commercially available since the beginning of the year and it prints skin-like substances that can be used with burn and acid victims.
While 3-D printers are helpful for skin grafting, some companies are looking into extracellular matrices that have shown to be able to regenerate an amputated fingertip. The stridesthat technology is taking in helping dermatologists hone their craft is simply astounding.
Sometimes, when we’re having too much fun out on the beach or gardening, we forget the dangers of skin cancer. Enter wearable sensors. Some of these sensors are able to tell your vital signs, sleep pattern and water intake. Technology from cosmetics giant, L’Oreal, however, introduced a sensor that tells you how much sun exposure you’ve gotten. It will notify you when you’re about to get sunburnt and when you should re-apply your sunscreen.
These advancements are built to help skin care specialists be better at their practice. It allows them to connect with patients on a more human level while these machines take care of the more technical aspect of their jobs.