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Have you tried a virtual consultation?
Virtual doctors’ appointments have been becoming increasingly common for a while as they help to make healthcare more convenient.1,2 With Covid-19 part of all of our lives now, a virtual appointment could be an ideal solution for some situations, in particular by reducing the risk of infection caused by close contact.3,4 If you can’t get to your doctor, for whatever reason, you may not need to abandon your appointment – you might be able to have one in the comfort of your living room instead, sometimes via a video call facility like FaceTime or Skype.2,5
6 ways to make a virtual consultation work for you:
1. Find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed.6
2. Make notes beforehand with anything you’d like to discuss - be specific about your concerns, symptoms and questions.6
3. Ask your doctor how to securely send through pictures of your skin or swollen joints, and if possible, photos of how they might have changed.5-8
4. Try to take pictures in bright, natural light, without makeup, and from a few different angles.6
5. Be prepared to answer questions about your medical history.6,8
6. Stick to any advice or instructions that you’re given.6
Although you may still need to see a healthcare professional in person, a virtual consultation could give you what you need, including advice, peace of mind and a treatment plan.2,6
If you have concerns about COVID-19 and receiving biological or immunosuppressant treatment, EUROPSO, the European umbrella organisation for psoriatic disease movements, states that this is not an at-risk group for developing severe forms of coronavirus.9 They ask that patients don’t make changes to treatment regimens without speaking to a healthcare professional.9
Please visit their website for more information.
You may be interested in:
1. Harvard Health Publishing. Consider a virtual doctor visit. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/need-an-appointment-pronto-consider-a-virtual-doctors-visit-2016091610206 Accessed: June 2020.
2. The New York Times. Modern doctors’ house calls: Skype chat and fast diagnosis. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/health/modern-doctors-house-calls-skype-chat-and-fast-diagnosis.html Accessed: June 2020.
3. Hollander JE and Carr BG. NEJM 2020;382;18:1679-1681.
4. Smith AC, et al. J Telemed and Telecare 2020;0(0):1-5.
5. Healthline. The 6 best dermatology telemedicine sites. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/dermatology-telemedicine-best-websites#1 Accessed: June 2020.
6. AmWell. Psoriasis treatment online. Available at: https://amwell.com/cm/conditions/psoriasis/ Accessed: June 2020.
7. National Psoriasis Foundation. Telemedicine tears down barriers. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/telemedicine-tears-down-barriers-your-doctor Accessed: June 2020.
8. Mechanic OJ, Kimball AB. Telehealth Systems. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020.
9. EUROPSO. Coronavirus COVID-19 concerns? Available at: https://www.euro-pso.org/coronavirus-covid-19-concerns/ Accessed: July 2020.