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Are Dermatology Apps Just as Smart as a Dermatologist?

Everyone has gone through the tiresome waiting game of trying to get an appointment with a dermatologist. Virtual consultations apps aim to eliminate that lengthy appointment making process by providing instant detection and diagnosis. Simply downloading an app and sending a doctor with unknown whereabouts a photo of your rash might seem like an easy way to figure out what’s going on with your skin — but is it just as accurate as a real dermatologist? Here are some of the virtual consultation apps that may or may not be just as effective as your MD’s diagnosis.

SkyMD. This online consortium of dermatologists promises a 24- to 48-hour turnaround on diagnosis. According to SkyMD, each consultation is “usually comparable to a typical office copay.” Yet, each dermatologist charges varying rates. This app doesn’t accept insurance, but it can be used when purchasing prescribed medications.

First Derm. Similarly to SkyMD, all First Derm requires is a photo and your basic medical history. This app offers a payment structure depending on how fast you want your diagnosis: $29.99 for a 48-hour response, $39.99 for 24 hours, and $59.99 for eight hours. They also mention there is a 30 percent chance that your condition will need to be reviewed and treated with an in-person dermatologist.

Spruce. With a five-star rating in the Apple store, this app is nearly identical to SkyMD and First Derm, except it offers a flat rate of $40 for a 24-hour diagnosis. For now, it’s only available in 18 states: California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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