International Psoriasis Council

Advancing Knowledge. Enhancing Care.

Advancing Knowledge. Enhancing Care.

Opportunities and Limitations of Telemedicine in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Psoriasis

Experts provide a global consensus statement regarding telemedicine in psoriasis management, considering cultural and technological differences.

Psoriasis is a skin condition that presents unique challenges, such as the need for long-term management. With the popularization of “telemedicine” as a convenient mode of communication between doctors and patients post-pandemic, defining best practices for its use in psoriasis treatment is critical. The International Psoriasis Council recently installed a new working committee to establish a road map for developing and implementing telemedicine focused on psoriasis diagnosis and management.

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced unprecedented limitations on in-person medical examinations. As a result, remote delivery of medical services has become an increasingly important component of healthcare. “Telemedicine” (TM), a healthcare innovation that seeks to reduce the need for physical contact during medical diagnosis and treatment, is gaining popularity among physicians. However, several barriers to its implementation must be overcome. For instance, only a few countries currently have regulatory guidelines for TM, and most require a policy framework to determine reimbursements.

Teledermatology (TD), the treatment and diagnosis of skin diseases in TM, faces several additional barriers to implementation. Although skin diseases are often diagnosed through visual cues, photos or videos may be inadequate for diagnosing conditions like psoriasis. Moreover, since in-person interaction between the doctor and patient has traditionally been considered optimal for psoriasis care, the transition to remote care may be difficult.

Until now, TM has primarily been focused on “first contact visits.” To this end, The International Psoriasis Council (IPC) recently installed a working group of experts to review the state of TD and propose new ways in which they can integrate and facilitate the implementation of TM in psoriasis care. The group, chaired by Alexander Navarrini and co-chaired by Joel Gelfand, also included Peter van de Kerkhof, Mohamed H. M. El Komy, Andrea Chiricozzi, April Armstrong, Vahid Diamei, and Christophe Hsu. The team formulated statements on various aspects of TM according to the nominal group technique to reach a consensus on these statements and explore the variation of opinions. A total of 36 statements regarding TD and psoriasis were agreed upon and published in the JEADV Clinical Practice. According to Prof. van de Kerkhof, the corresponding author of the article, “These statements offer valuable insights into the current and future state of TD in psoriasis care.

The working group explored the utility and limitations of digital communication techniques like store and forward (SAF) and live video conferencing (LVC) in diagnosis and treatment. The members also explored the value of “hybrid TM, ” which incorporates in-person and remote communication. Following these discussions, the IPC will establish a professional forum to inform physicians on best practices in TM and collaborate with healthcare organizations to improve access to TD. Apart from the inherent value of communication techniques, the group investigated each technique’s legal aspects, cost-effectiveness, and reimbursement potential. After examining these aspects, the expert group has called for increased awareness about data security and reiterated the urgent need for a reimbursement system. As mentioned earlier, restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have spurred a renewed interest in TM. Therefore, the group investigated the state of TM consultation during the pandemic and the lessons learned in its wake. To make these lessons accessible to physicians worldwide, information regarding new findings and innovations from the pandemic will be available on the IPC website. While virtual ways of working have advantages, especially in the early diagnosis of psoriasis, the expert group observed that it might also have significant limitations, necessitating in-person consultations during certain stages of the disease. While the group acknowledges that TD can be as effective as in-person consultations in some cases, they also recommend sharing experiences in discussion forums to optimize its use. The increased use of artificial intelligence to improve the accuracy of virtual diagnosis and ensure reproducibility in TD must also gain impetus. The experts agreed that TD is adequate for early and continued treatment of skin diseases, including psoriasis, using topical therapies and biologics. They also emphasized the potential of TD in extending treatment to underserved populations. “TD may help increase access to professional dermatological care for medically disadvantaged populations,” observes Dr. Navarrini. In conclusion, the expert statements strongly recommend exploring the utility of TM in treating skin diseases while being mindful of its limitations.


Telemedicine and Psoriasis: A Review Based on Statements of the Telemedicine Working Group of the International Psoriasis Council. El Komy M, Chiricozzi A, van de Kerkhof P, et al. JEADV Clin Prac. 2022 Dec. doi 10.1002/jvc2.93

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Recent Posts

Abstracts Published for the Gunnar Lomholt Symposium at IPC 2023 Think Tank

Press Release: IPC and NPF Collaboration Reveals Impact of Psoriasis Location on Quality of Life

Nurturing Future Leaders in Psoriasis Care: IPC International Fellowship Program Gears Up for 2024 Applications

Also Read

Skin of Color

Recognizing Clinical Gaps in Skin of Color Patients

In this enlightening blog post, Dr. Andrew Alexis, an esteemed Professor of Clinical Dermatology, delves into the intricacies of diagnosing and treating psoriasis in skin of color patients. He highlights the challenges these patients face, the impact on their quality of life, and provides essential treatment recommendations for pigmentary sequelae. Moreover, Dr. Alexis sheds light on the pressing need for inclusive clinical trials to improve psoriasis care in diverse populations. This comprehensive article offers invaluable insights for healthcare providers and patients alike.

Read More
Skin of Color

Treatment and Clinical Considerations in the Context of Skin of Color

Discover the latest insights on psoriasis treatment for individuals with skin of color in our comprehensive blog post. Learn about effective topical therapies, phototherapy, and systemic agents for both mild and severe psoriasis cases. Find out the practical implications of treating psoriasis in diverse ethnic groups, including considerations for hypo- or hyper-pigmentation risks. Explore the differences in treatment responses and side effect profiles in non-white patients for oral agents and biologic treatments. Stay informed about advancements in psoriasis treatment for skin of color and future perspectives. Get expert tips to optimize care for patients of all backgrounds.

Read More

Focus on Psoriasis: A Report from the 25th World Congress of Dermatology (WCD)

Discover the latest updates on psoriasis from the World Congress of Dermatology (WCD) 2023, hosted in Singapore from July 3–8. Get insights from the International Psoriasis Council’s (IPC) Symposium and WCD’s four psoriasis-focused sessions, covering a total of 21 summaries. Download the comprehensive report or explore the key highlights.

Read More

Subscribe to the IPC Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on the latest research, news, and upcoming events right in your inbox.