Patient Expectations and Willingness With Teledermatology

Author Type(s)


Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology




Background: The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically elevated the importance of telemedicine to the forefront of clinical care. To optimize health care delivery, our study investigated patients’ expectation and willingness regarding teledermatology.

Methods: We analyzed 247 responses to a 31-question survey evaluating patient expectations and willingness regarding teledermatology. We analyzed responses by gender, race, age, and previous use of telemedicine/teledermatology to evaluate for statistical differences.

Results: Seventy-six percent of respondents reported a previous telemedicine visit, while 40% reported a previous teledermatology visit. Respondents were most willing to talk on the phone to discuss an existing dermatological problem and to email with a dermatologist. Respondents were least willing to send digital photos of their own or their childs’ skin concern, or to start a new dermatologic medication for their child. Patients without prior teledermatology experience estimated shorter durations of telephone/video calls and were less willing to send digital images. Willingness statistically differed by gender and age (P ˂ .05), but not ethnicity. Males estimated longer durations of video/telephone calls, and were more willing to send photos compared with females (P ˂ .05). Older patients were more willing to start a new medication through teledermatology compared with younger cohorts (P ˂ .05). Caucasians preferred in-office encounters and were less willing to conduct video conferences compared with skin of color patients (P ˂ .05).

Conclusion: Insight into patient expectations and willingness for teledermatology is important as electronic telecommunication between patients and physicians expands. Understanding the differences amongst the varied patient demographics can improve health care delivery and clinical outcomes.