NHS embraces tech for swift dermatology consultations 

NHS embraces tech for swift dermatology consultations 

NHS boards across the UK are using a revolutionary technology to give GPs access to rapid advice through storing and forwarding photos and files directly to specialist NHS dermatology specialists for pre-referral advice and guidance. 

Consultant Connect’s PhotoSAF technology is the UK’s most widely used teledermatology platform, covering over half of the NHS across England, Scotland and Wales. Approximately 3,500 NHS organisations, including GP practices and Trusts, use the service. 

GPs and other clinicians take photos of patients’ skin using the PhotoSAF app and share these with dermatology specialists,who can identify problems and offer advice on the best next steps for the patients. Since its 2017 launch, the PhotoSAF app has recorded over 2 million dermatology photos. Usage has surged by 2,400% in 2023 compared to 2019. 

This automation eliminates the need for GPs to manually process referrals, saving valuable clinical and administrative time while ensuring accurate patient documentation. These efficiencies save the NHS approximately £16 million.  The platform integrates into primary care patient records in England, incorporating activities, photos and messages, also linking with the NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS). 

Dr Emamoke Ubogu, GP and partner at Swan Medical Centre, said: “As a GP, our training in dermatology is quite limited unless you undergo training to become a GP with a special interest in dermatology. This is why being able to communicate with a dermatologist is so helpful. The specialist often only needs to see photos in addition to the medical history in order to make a diagnosis.” 

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