The pandemic has brought an unimaginable change in not just our lives but also in the manner we approach or seek healthcare services. Telemedicine rules the roost today and digitisation has taken a giant leap, bringing even skin and hair industry in its ambit.
Users can now opt for dermatology consultation experience right from the comfort of their homes and in quick time. High quality skin and hair consultation is now at your fingertips and is as simple as taking a personality quiz online.
Clinikally is a digital dermatology clinic providing personalised consultations, prescriptions and Rx-grade medicines at your doorstep. The impact of digital dermatology consultation is such that people have begun prioritising skin and hair health and are actively opting for treatment plans for chronic conditions.
"Barring hair loss and chronic skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, skin and hair care treatments had largely fallen by the wayside during the pandemic," says Dr Guneet Bedi, a member of the Indian Association of Dermatologists (IADVL) and the head of Telehealth at Clinikally.
Adding to this, Arjun tells FIT, "Most people across the world, and especially in India, have inadequate access to dermatologists whether it is for consumer skincare, or like cancerous, more serious conditions."
Clinikally handles issues of accessibility, waiting queues, time constraints and physical restrictions, which have helped it thrive. "Professionals soon realised also that a lot of the conditions that they present to the clinics can be effectively tackled with a combination of telemedicine and product delivery," says Arjun Soin, ML Researcher and Co-Founder of Clinikally.
Whichever part of the country you reside, you can have access to the best of skin and hair specialists from the metropolitan cities and with a click on your handheld device.
It’s simple! A patient is required to fill out a detailed 5-7 minute questionnaire with his or her skin type, medical history, concerns and requirements. "That questionnaire encodes learnings from previous patients history and doctors prescriptions in a qualitative fashion," adds Arjun. He or she is then connected to a professional for an online consultation after which a prescription is handed out on how to move ahead on the skincare or treatment journey. The focus is on making tele-consultation thorough and accessible without compelling the patients to buy products if they choose not to.
Artificial Intelligence is the key
After patients submit the questionnaire, they receive a highly sophisticated treatment line. The idea of AI looking at an image is the future several people in the dermatology industry are looking towards. However, setting up the framework for that will require a lot more data sets.
"There is a huge lack of publically available datasets that are dermatologically approved, and biopsy proven.", says Arjun Soin
"You need to be able to look at if it's a pigmentation or eczema or a scoliosis, you want to make algorithms that are effective across races, across skin types and there tends to be a lot of bias in these algorithms in the skincare space right now," Arjun adds.
Research is in progress on this area at Stanford University and we may soon witness Clinikally deploying AI, even better than it already is, for serving patients.