Background: Previous research suggests that technology-enabled health care delivery may improve access to dermatologic specialty care. Outcomes research using validated outcomes measures is necessary for evaluation of novel health care delivery models. Objective: We sought to compare the clinical equivalence of a novel patient-centered online health care delivery model with standard in-office care for follow-up treatment of patients with psoriasis. Methods: A total of 64 participants with psoriasis were randomized to receive follow-up care either in-office or online over a 24-week period. Patients randomized to the online group underwent standardized training on capturing high-quality digital images of their psoriatic skin and transmitting these images and clinical history to a dermatologist securely. The dermatologist then performed asynchronous, online evaluation and provided recommendations directly to patients. We used clinically validated disease severity and quality-of-life measures to assess effectiveness between the models. Results: Both online and in-office groups showed improvement in psoriasis disease severity as measured by mean improvement in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (online group: mean = -3.4, in-office: mean = -3.4). Patient-centered online care resulted in similar improvement in psoriasis severity compared with in-person follow-up care (mean difference in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index change 0.1, 95% confidence interval -2.2 to 2.3, a priori equivalence margin of 2.5). Investigator Global Assessment and Dermatology Life Quality Index scores also improved during the study period; no significant differences existed between the two groups. Limitations: The follow-up period was limited to 24 weeks. Conclusion: A patient-centered online model may be an effective alternative to in-office care for follow-up management of psoriasis.
- asynchronous teledermatology
- comparative effectiveness
- equivalency trial
- randomized controlled clinical trial
- store-and-forward teledermatology
ASJC Scopus subject areas