There is an increasingly growing movement to provide more accessible dermatology services. With a nation-wide dermatologist shortage, technology has stepped in to provide faster results for perplexing skin conditions. YoDerm is one of the apps trying to facilitate more timely diagnoses via virtual consultations. Childhood friends Ben Holber and Ryan Hambley were inspired to create YoDerm from their own adolescent experiences with dermatology. In sixth grade, YoDerm’s co-founder, Holber suffered from chronic acne and was frustrated with long waits for dermatologist appointments. Hambley, on the other hand, the company’s chief product officer, could always turn to his father, a dermatologist for skincare advice. The two initially collaborated with Hambley’s father to learn how skin conditions can be evaluated through photos. They eventually established a pilot program in Monterey, California in 2012.
Five years later, YoDerm has facilitated 40,000 consultations and employs a dozen board-certified dermatologists and a growing waitlist. Patients pay $59 to submit photos, and in turn, receive a consultation and a prescription sent to a pharmacy of their choice within 24 hours. Taking a cue from the gig economy and taxi services like Uber and Lyft, dermatologists can review patient photos on their own schedule. “We have some physicians that get up in the morning and complete their queue of patients then. We have some physicians that will complete their consultations at their lunch hour or [during] in-between times in the clinic,” Holber told Medgadget.
The ultimate vision for YoDerm is a full-spectrum healthcare service, and Holber and Hambley are currently implementing other features to make the diagnosis and treatment process more streamlined. Part of this initiative includes a treatment delivery service. Currently, YoDerm delivers both Latisse, a prescription that increases the growth of eyelashes, and Finasteride, the generic of Proscar and Propecia, a drug that treats enlarged prostate glands and induces hair growth. Both medications are FDA-approved.