The OnlineDoctor platform came about because dermatologist Dr. According to Paul Scheidegger, he constantly “received pictures of skin problems via e-mail, Whatsapp or SMS”. Patients and doctors in Switzerland have been able to use the teledermatology platform since 2017. Two years later, every fourth dermatological practice in Switzerland was working with OnlineDoctor. The digital application started in Germany in 2019 and has since been cooperating with the Professional Association of German Dermatologists (BVDD). We answer six questions about the teledermatology provider:
Patient takes picture of rash
How can I use the platform?
You don’t need to download an app to use the offer, all you need is a computer or smartphone and a cell phone number. The latter is used for 2-factor authentication in order to receive an activation code. This is to ensure that the data associated with the request is only accessible to you. For legal reasons, only cell phone numbers from the EU or the Schengen area are allowed. You will then be asked about your health insurance and you can then choose a doctor to whom you send three photos of the skin rash or similar.
What will this cost me?
Ideally, your health insurance company will cover the treatment costs. According to OnlineDoctor, this is already the case with 50 percent of statutory health insurance companies and all private health insurance companies. Otherwise, the costs for online treatment are 38.87 euros.
Where and how is the data stored?
The data is stored in encrypted form on servers hosted in Germany.
How long does it take until I receive feedback on my findings?
The doctor will respond within an average of seven hours (maximum two days). You will then receive a personal recommendation for action and a diagnosis, i.e. a doctor’s letter.
What happens if I cannot be treated online?
If treatment is not possible online, the participating doctors usually offer an on-site appointment within five days.
Will I be issued a prescription or e-prescription after treatment?
Many doctors offer to collect the prescription from the practice if necessary. There is currently no e-prescription after treatment via OnlineDoctor. However, this should be possible in the future. OnlineDoctor is in exchange with the BVDD and the health insurance companies for this – OnlineDoctor sees itself as responsible for making the e-prescription “user-centered and […] to introduce beneficially”.
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