Clinical and Experimental Dermatology
John Wiley and Sons Inc.
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A novel clinical set‐up for examining healthy dermatology outpatients during the COVID‐19 pandemic
DOI 10.1111/ced.14246,

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Gupta, Jangra, Gujrathi, Mahendra, Singla, Sharma, and Gupta: A novel clinical set‐up for examining healthy dermatology outpatients during the COVID‐19 pandemic

The COVID‐19 pandemic has made social distancing necessary, and as a result, daily outpatient departments (OPDs) are at a standstill because of the rules imposed by many governments to close all nonessential OPDs. Teledermatology has been advised by few authorities but it is not always preferred, as it may lead to misdiagnosis, carries ethical and legal issues, and may not be feasible in a resource‐poor setting.1, 2 However, dermatological emergencies may still arise where it becomes imperative to see the patient personally.

Examination of a patient's hand being conducted through a glass partition.
Figure 1
Examination of a patient's hand being conducted through a glass partition.

To overcome this problem, we propose the use of a glass cabin or a glass partition between the doctor and the patient, through which interaction can take place. The glass partition allows visual examination of the patient's skin directly or with the help of a magnifying lens, and even the use of a dermatoscope is possible through the glass (Fig. 1). A two‐way audio communication system can be used for conversing. The cabin could also contain a source of illumination for better visualization. This setup protects both the doctor and the patient from any communicable disease, and may ease disease phobia. Using this method, emergency outpatient practices can largely be continued with healthy individuals even without personal protective equipment, which is currently not easily available because of an increased demand all over the world.3 Given that examination and diagnosis in Dermatology are mainly visual, it makes this setup particularly suitable for this specialty, and could also be useful for Psychiatry. This set‐up could be continued for safety even after the spread of COVID‐19 is controlled.

References

1 

American Academy of Dermatology . . Coronavirus safety & preparedness. Teledermatology. Available at: https://www.aad.org/member/practice/managing/coronavirus/teledermatology(accessed 28 March 2020).

2 

WangRH, BarbieriJS, NguyenHPet al. Clinical effectiveness and cost‐effectiveness of teledermatology: Where are we now, and what are the barriers to adoption?J Am Acad Dermatol2020, doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2020.01.065

3 

RanneyML, GriffethV, JhaAK. . Critical supply shortages – the need for ventilators and personal protective equipment during the Covid‐19 pandemic. N Engl J Med2020; 382: , pp.e41.