Dermatology App is a Worthy Winner

A digital dermatology breakthrough, led by NHS Forth Valley in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Grampian, the digital agency Storm ID, National Services Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland has scooped a prestigious Health Service Journal award.

Winners of the Digitising Patient Services Award for the roll out of Digital Dermatology Assessments (DDA) during the Covid-19 pandemic, NHS Forth Valley Lead Consultant Dermatologist, Dr Colin Morton, was singled out by colleagues for special praise. However, Dr Morton was keen to highlight that the award was a real team effort. He said: “This should be an award shared widely, given so many individuals have contributed. The winning team was only announced at the event and as we had been given a table at the back of a hall we thought our chance of success was slim!

“This is evidence of what can be achieved working together, with strong management support, to deliver innovative practice for our patients.”

The Digital Dermatology Assessments service uses an app which enables people send photographs of moles and other skin concerns in advance and take part in virtual consultations with a clinician. This technology is more convenient for patients, removing the need to travel and take time off work to attend an outpatient appointment.

The collaboration between clinical teams and industry was expanded during the pandemic and more than 3,000 patients had completed DDA appointments by November 2021.

Dr Morton explained that the initial assessment to test the viability of the system involved over 50 patients in around a three month period; at the onset of the current pandemic it had increased tenfold!  Now they are seeking to deliver up to 30% of consultations either via phone or digitally, including the new digital platform which is a solution well-like by patients.

The Health Service Journal Awards, seen as one of the most coveted in healthcare, resulted in 1500 shortlisted entries and involved 581 judges and 18,500 hours of judging!.