BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - May 12, 2016) - 3Derm, an innovation leader in the teledermatology sector, today unveiled the company's first commercially available triage system, designed to expedite appointments for the most urgent consults while screening out benign concerns. The system enables providers to capture a full complement of diagnostic-quality two-dimensional and three-dimensional images at primary care and automatically delivers these images via cloud-based software to in-network dermatologists for remote review and follow-up.
In a recent study conducted at UMass Memorial Medical Center (Worcester, MA), the results of which will be presented at the American Telemedicine Association Conference on May 17, dermatologists identified an equivalent number of skin cancers using images acquired by the 3Derm system, as compared to in-person visits. As a result, 70% of patients with benign conditions were identified at the point of primary care, dramatically reducing unnecessary referrals to dermatology.
"Accountable Care Organizations like ours are eager to adopt emerging technology that improves quality and efficiency while reducing costs," said Thomas Scornavacca, DO Senior Medical Director of Population Health for UMass Memorial. "In our efficacy study, the images acquired by the 3Derm system were equivalent to the eyes of a dermatologist. As a family practitioner, 3Derm holds the promise of getting patients in need to a dermatology consult faster, while eliminating unnecessary visits for those who don't require follow-up. That's a benefit for my patients, my practice, the dermatologist and the health system as a whole."
The dermatology system in the United States is being overrun by demand. Of the nearly 14 million "new issue" dermatology visits, only 20% required an in-person appointment while fewer than 1% resulted in a positive melanoma diagnosis.(1,2,3) By those estimates, the thousands of patients who required urgent treatment for melanoma were left waiting in line alongside the more than 10 million patients for whom an in-person visit was ultimately deemed unnecessary.
Today, the average wait time to see a dermatologist has ballooned to 29 days, with patients on Medicaid or in certain areas of the country often waiting more than 100 days.(4) As one of the fastest metastasizing cancers, reducing the average wait time for skin cancer diagnosis by even a week can result in a significant decrease in mortality.(5)
"We wanted to become the standard of care, not just an alternate telemedicine option for extreme cases. That meant measuring up to an in-person dermatologist," explains 3Derm CEO, Elizabeth Asai. "After years of clinical testing, we are proud to present a solution tailored to the needs of health systems that exceeds this gold standard, while keeping the patient's existing local care network intact."
Built From the Optics Up
The patent-pending 3Derm imaging system captures and delivers the same three views a dermatologist uses in an exam room, making remote visits with the 3Derm system virtually indistinguishable from current practice. It takes just minutes for a primary care clinician to capture and share high-resolution, two-dimensional and three-dimensional images of a suspect lesion. The consulting in-network dermatologist is presented with the patient information and the complete suite of images required to make a diagnosis, including
- An overview image to show the context of the lesion
- Color-calibrated, two-dimensional and three-dimensional images acquired by the exclusive, patent-pending 3Derm imager
- A polarized and magnified dermatoscopic image to visualize the lesion and subcutaneous vasculature
The HIPAA compliant, cloud-based back end of the 3Derm system was engineered to integrate fully with an existing EHR and features FDA class II design controls. Diagnostic and workflow software directs the image capture and transmission process. Smart features such as automatic ICD-10 coding, voice-to-diagnosis capabilities and patient lookup easily integrate the 3Derm system into the process of care.
Faster Care, Bottom Line Benefits
3Derm is implementing its triage system at 22 locations within 7 community health centers in Massachusetts, where individuals 100-200% below the poverty line receive primary care services. Covering more than 150,000 lives, this large-scale 3Derm deployment is expected to eliminate over 90 days of waiting time between primary care referral and dermatology consult. With 3Derm, patients in need can typically receive a diagnosis from a dermatologist within 48 hours of their primary care visit, compared to the previous average wait time to see a dermatologist of more than 93 days.
Based on current clinical use data, 3Derm projects millions of dollars of potential cost savings for large-scale fee-for-value health systems. These savings will be delivered through reducing the number of in-person visits for patients with benign conditions, keeping patients in-network, more rapid melanoma detection and intervention, and improved patient satisfaction scores.
3Derm was founded by Liz Asai and Elliot Swart, Yale University engineers who identified the need to approach teledermatology as an optics challenge. Together, they assembled a team of engineers, designers, and healthcare specialists to build 3Derm from the optics up, remotely providing dermatologists with the same views and data they rely on to make a diagnosis during an in person visit. This focus enables 3Derm to distinguish itself in the teledermatology market, delivering better images, better utilization and better outcomes for clinicians, patients and care networks.
UMass Memorial Health Care
UMass Memorial Health Care is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Central Massachusetts with more than 12,900 employees and 1,670 physicians, many of whom are members of UMass Memorial Medical Group. Our member hospitals and entities include UMass Memorial - Clinton Hospital, UMass Memorial - HealthAlliance Hospital, UMass Memorial - Marlborough Hospital, UMass Memorial Medical Center and UMass Memorial - Community Healthlink, our behavioral health agency. With our teaching and research partner, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, our extensive primary care network and our cancer, diabetes, heart and vascular, orthopedic and surgery programs, UMass Memorial delivers safe, high-quality and compassionate care. Visit www.umassmemorialhealthcare.org.
To find a physician in your community, call 855-UMASS-MD (855-862-7763).
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2009. National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Factsheet: Dermatology.
- National Cancer Institute. Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program. SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Melanoma of the Skin.
- Healio.com/Dermatology. 2016 Mar 14. Teledermatology Services May Lack Quality of Care.
- Merritt Hawkins. 2015. 2014 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicaid and Medicare Acceptance Rates.
- Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2007 Sep; 89(6): 609-615. The UK Government Two-Week Rule and its Impact on Melanoma Prognosis: An Evidence-Based Study.