By Mia Burns (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As the world’s first acne-specific dermatology web platform, California startup YoDerm is tackling the barriers that affect teen acne sufferers. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly 18 million U.S. adolescents have acne that is severe enough to require a dermatologist consult. Less than one million of these patients actually make their way into a dermatologist’s office. Typically, patients have to wait for more than a month before they can see a dermatologist. Absences from school or work to commute to doctors’ offices can be too burdensome for students and parents. Many acne sufferers have expressed that embarrassment has kept them out of the waiting room.
YoDerm executives explain that the platform allows consultations to occur with any modern computer or smartphone connected online, which gives patients the convenience and privacy of remaining within their homes. All dermatologist s on the YoDerm platform are licensed and board-certified. As acne is a visual condition, the doctors are able to easily diagnose it through images. In addition, millenials are constantly connected to the web. YoDerm claims that it only seemed natural to bring the dermatology consultation online, thereby giving millenials access to the best treatment available using their computer or smartphone.
In celebration of National Skin Care Awareness Month, YoDerm is providing a full month of educational tips and information on its Facebook page, a blog chock-full of helpful posts, and a chance for four people to win a free consultation on YoDerm.
“The platform replaces the office visit all together,” says Ryan Hambley, one of YoDerm’s co-founders. “We have worked with the doctors to have a really comprehensive registration process that typically includes all of the information that the physician is ever going to need to make a diagnosis and choose an effective treatment plan, but if there is any missing information, the physician can always message the patient directly and the patient can message the physician directly.”
Although YoDerm is only available in California, that may change, says co-founder Ben Holber. “There is no reason why that this service cannot be nationwide,” he told Med Ad News Daily. “Acne is in every state. It is the most prevalent skin condition in the U.S. and a lot of people in all corners of the country that could benefit from a service like this.”
In addition, telemedicine can enhance the pharma industry, Holber says. “Currently with decreased access to traditional in-person healthcare many patients resort to over-the- counter products that you can get at Walgreens,” he told Med Ad News Daily. “While you can still go to these pharmacies and get the prescription sent to you and you don’t need to actually need to see the physician to write the prescription. This limits the pharmaceutical industry from being in every finger of the country. Telemedicine what it does it really allows the pharmaceutical industry to expand to another order of magnitude because now it really allows prescriptions to be filled everywhere because they can be filled online. We look at pharma companies like Galderma and GlaxoSmithKline that have fantastic prescription acne medications and we think that this is a huge upside for them.”
Holber expects that more acne sufferers will stop using over-the-counter treatments and start using more prescription acne products, such as Epiduo. “We think that we are opening up an entirely new segment of consumers and patients for the pharmaceutical industry,” he says.