Two GP practices on the Isle of Wight have started using an app designed to speed up how quickly a skin problem can be diagnosed by a specialist.
Argyll House Surgery in Ryde and St Helens Medical Centre in St Helens have both introduced the Dermicus app, which has been created by Swedish company, Gnosco.
Through the app, a GP or nurse specialist is able to take high-quality photographs, including greatly-magnified images, of any skin abnormality a patient comes in with.
The app quickly and securely sends these images to the dermatology service for review.
Specialists at the dermatology service, which is provided by Lighthouse Medical, are then able to determine if any further action is needed, such as if the patient requires a biopsy, needs to come in for a face-to-face appointment, or requires a referral to another service.
Both GPs and specialist nurses have been trained in how to use the app.
Dr Christine Seiger, GP at Argyll House Surgery, said: “The biggest benefit we have experienced is both the speed in which we can send images across to specialists, and also how easy it is to use.
“Having access to this app is great as not only do patients get access to a specialist reviewing their case quicker, it can also help with the earlier detection of cancer and speed up the process for receiving treatment.”
The Dermicus app recently teamed up with the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) in Wessex.
The AHSN is currently reviewing the success of the app and coordinated the rollout.
Gnosco director, Philip Daniels-May said “Working in partnership with Wessex AHSN enabled Gnosco to demonstrate to the Isle of Wight CCG that our Dermicus teledermatology platform was fully compliant with NHS patient data security requirements.
“This compliance, combined with our proven benefits, led to us wining a three year contract for Lighthouse Medical to deliver fast and secure skin diagnosis to the 144,000 residents on the Isle of Wight.
“We know from experience that it takes time for everyone to settle into the the new patient flow but on our first patient case we are able to deliver a diagnosis is 10 minutes compared with previously having a wait of weeks for the first referral. There’s no better confidence builder for the GPs, nurses and practice managers than that type of positive patient experience.”