Direct to Consumer Telehealth: Throwing The Baby Out With The Bathwater


The cHealth Blog

I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Catherine Schuster Bruce in this post. Catherine is a University of Bristol Medical Graduate who recently spent two months on placement with Partners Connected Health prior to starting work at the Royal London Hospital, London.

Missed diagnosis. No Diagnosis. Dodgy Clinicians… There’s been a lot of hand wringing around direct-to-consumer (DTC) telehealth. Recently, more alarms went off in the wake of a Wall Street Journal article, outlining the results of a study posted online in JAMA Dermatology that assessed the quality of DTC teledermatology.

Specifically, this study aimed to test the quality of 16 DTC teledermatology services in California. They created surrogate ‘personas’ that presented as potential real-life patients seeking a teledermatology consult. Factors assessed included clinician choice; clinician location; type of data the clinic requested; the diagnoses given; the treatment prescribed or recommended; whether adverse medication effects were discussed; and…

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