While there is no shame in having any condition or illness that requires a doctor’s attention, there are definitely times when discretion is called for.
You may just not be sure what’s going on, or, in case “it’s nothing”, would rather not go the expense of a visit to a neighborhood walk-in clinic that let’s you wait to see a doctor.
This is where First Derm comes in, at least for dematology concerns.
Concept and Design
The app is designed to be quick, informative, and easy to use, just as an app that deals with medical issues should be.
When you first open it you see the first of five information screens that quickly walk you through the process of using the app, and lets you know that a dermatologist will get back to you with an opinion about your specific concern within 24 hours.
The other options available from the main menu include information about their doctors, a map to show you where your local dermatologists, pediatricians, or drug stores are located, a FAQ, instructions on using the app, and a very useful”Skin Guide” that provides information on a wide range of skin-related topics that are broken down into nine main groups. These topics cover everything from STD’s to skin cancer to psoriasis.
If you happen to be worried about something that doesn’t look right, either on yourself or someone you love, you want an app that gets the job done with as little fluff as possible. This app achieves an excellent balance of information and functionality with little else to distract or frustrate you.
As you would expect from an app that deals with health related issues, your privacy is critical. While HIPAA regulations are pretty strict about how personal information is used and protected, these folks go in the other direction by allowing you to use their service anonymously.
They state “No login or identifiable information is needed. Additionally, your information is encrypted and always kept on secure servers.”
The clean design of the UI goes a long way in making this app informative and easy to work with. The “e-consulations” are not free, but they are quick and by providing an app they have opened the door to allowing anyone to get some informed advice and at least have some idea of the severity of his or her skin condition.
As an app we applaud the initiative to bring qualified medical advice, as discreetly as possible, to anyone who may need it. While this app is a free download, the cost to submit a case is $40, along with any other fees (like data usage) that your mobile operator may charge.
All in all First Derm is well designed and serves an important service.
That being said, we have not tried the service itself and so we cannot offer any opinion as to the quality of the encounter one would have when using this service.
All the pieces seem to be in the right places and we suspect the results would show that, but again, we make no claim as to how satisfied you may or may not be using this service.
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What do YOU think? If you try this service we’d love to hear your comments, let us know!