Specialist diagnostics without risk of infection: „Online dermatologist on site“
The model project „AppDoc – Online Dermatologist” has been approved and awarded several times by the State Medical Council of Baden-Württemberg. Since November 2018, it enables collection of a first assessment on various skin issues through qualified dermatologists in Baden-Württemberg. Until now, more than 2.500 patients received consultation. After approval by the State Medical Council of Baden-Württemberg, the model project now opens for affected people and dermatology practices across Germany.
The model project „AppDoc – Online Dermatologist” has been approved and awarded several times by the State Medical Council of Baden-Württemberg. Since November 2018, it enables collection of a first assessment on various skin issues through qualified dermatologists in Baden-Württemberg. Until now, more than 2.500 patients received consultation. After approval by the State Medical Council of Baden-Württemberg, the model project now opens for affected people and dermatology practices across Germany. In this way, practices throughout Germany can provide for their patients online and without risk of infection during the Corona crisis. The app was developed by staff of Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and at National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg.
Three images from different distances and angles and an interactive anamnesis sheet: It doesn’t need more for patients from Baden-Württemberg to receive a first specialist assessment for skin problems of any kind as part of the model project. Usually, users have to wait less than an hour to receive feedback.
The practices Durani and Jansen, located in Heidelberg, supported more than 2.500 patients with their skin issues online within the last twelve months. “Around 70 percent of the patients could be consulted adequately, so they did not need to visit the practice. For more than 90 % of the cases, it was possible to make a diagnosis based on the sent in pictures”, reports Wiebke Sondermann, Senior Physician at the Essen University Clinic for Dermatology and head of the external scientific evaluation of the model project. With 4,5 out of 5 possible stars in the Appstores, “AppDoc” is very popular with patients.
„Only having to wait a few minutes for individual medical advice, without having to visit the practice – that is popular”, says Jochen Utikal, Head of the clinical cooperation unit for dermatooncology at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and local scientific adviser of “AppDoc”.
The offer experiences special relevance during the Corona crisis: Not only did the number of patients for online diagnostics double in a very short time, many dermatologists also wanted to offer online consultation without risk of infection via the interactive platform – due to professional reasons this has not been possible for the model project outside of Baden-Württemberg.
Only a few weeks ago, the State Medical Council approved the expansion of the service to other federal states: “ In this way, we can relieve dermatological practices fast and additionally reduce the risk of infection with SARS-COV-2 for patients substantially”, says the initiator of the Online Dermatologist, Titus Brinker, assistant physician at the University Clinic for Dermatology at the Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and Head of app development at DKFZ and National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg.
Prospectively, applying a radius function, patients can use the service to select nearby dermatologists they already know personally. The new and nationwide service of the model project “Online Dermatologist on site” can be reached under https://online-hautarzt.de.
From now on, authorized dermatologists can register and apply for activation. The service for individual dermatological practices can be set up and offered to local patients within 24 hours.
Participating specialist physicians can invoice the digital service according to the Scale of Medical fees for physicians. Patients pay a service-fee of 19 Euros.
Android Smartphones: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.online_hautarzt.app
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PC: Using the smartphone application AppDoc, patients receive fast and anonymous assessment of their skin issue by a dermatologist.
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National Center for Tumor Diseases Heidelberg (NCT)
The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and German Cancer Aid. The NCT’s goal is to link promising approaches from cancer research with patient care from diagnosis to treatment, aftercare and prevention. This is true for both diagnosis and treatment, follow-up care or prevention. The interdisciplinary tumor outpatient clinic is the central element of the NCT. Here, the patients benefit from an individual treatment plan prepared in interdisciplinary expert rounds, so-called tumor boards. Participation in clinical studies provides access to innovative therapies. The NCT thereby acts as a pioneering platform that translates novel research results from the laboratory into clinical practice. The NCT cooperates with self-help groups and supports them in their work. Since 2015, the NCT Heidelberg has maintained a partner site in Dresden. The Hopp Children’s Cancer Center (KiTZ) was established in Heidelberg in 2017. The pediatric oncologists at KiTZ work together in parallel structures with the NCT Heidelberg.
German Cancer Research Center
The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) with its more than 3,000 employees is the largest biomedical research institution in Germany. More than 1,300 scientists at the DKFZ investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and search for new strategies to prevent people from developing cancer. They are developing new methods to diagnose tumors more precisely and treat cancer patients more successfully. The DKFZ’s Cancer Information Service (KID) provides patients, interested citizens and experts with individual answers to all questions on cancer.
Jointly with partners from the university hospitals, the DKFZ operates the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg and Dresden, and the Hopp Children’s Tumour Center KiTZ in Heidelberg. In the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), one of the six German Centers for Health Research, the DKFZ maintains translational centers at seven university partner locations. NCT and DKTK sites combine excellent universtity medicine with the high-profile research of the DKFZ. They contribute to the endeavor of transferring promising approaches from cancer research to the clinic and thus improving the chances of cancer patients.
The DKFZ is 90 percent financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and 10 percent by the state of Baden-Württemberg. The DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.
Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD)
Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) is one of the most important medical centers in Germany; Heidelberg University’s Medical Faculty is one of Europe’s most prestigious biomedical research facilities. Their shared objective is the development of innovative diagnostics and treatments and their prompt implementation for the benefit of the patient. The hospital and faculty employ approximately 13,000 individuals and are involved in training and qualification. Every year approximately 65,000 patients are treated as inpatients and 56,000 as day patients in more than 50 specialized clinical departments with around 2,000 beds, with more than 1 million patients being treated as outpatients. Together with the German Cancer Research Center and German Cancer Aid, the Heidelberg University Hospital established The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg as the leading oncology center of excellence in Germany. The Heidelberg Curriculum Medicinale (HeiCuMed) is at the forefront of medical training in Germany. At present 3,700 aspiring physicians and doctors are studying in Heidelberg.