Indian dermatology specialists have been facing a tough battle as technology is rapidly encroaching on their lucrative field.
The Indian Society of Dermatology, a trade association representing dermatologists, said the industry is experiencing a shift in how it works as new technologies and methods of treatment become more prevalent.
According to the association, around half of all dermatologists in India are now working remotely from other countries.
“The trend is the opposite of the trend that we were seeing in the past, when the majority of dermatologists were working at home and they would be in touch with their clients on the phone,” said N. R. Poonam, chairman of the association.
“Nowadays, we are seeing that the majority are working from their laptops.”
In addition, India is facing a new era in the healthcare sector with the advent of digital healthcare platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba and others.
According to an IT consultancy, digital healthcare will take care of nearly two-thirds of the $50 billion global healthcare market by 2021.
In the digital healthcare arena, it is predicted that the number of Indian dermatists will triple by 2022, from around 3,000 to around 20,000, according to Dr. Vijay Vaidyanathan, founder of the Indian Dermatological Society.
The association has been trying to address this issue by creating a database that includes every Indian dermatologist and has already begun to distribute the data to the medical professionals, the association said in a statement.
However, the data is still very limited and the doctors in India who are working remotely are often reluctant to share their information with patients.
“If you are going to work remotely, you need to get the trust of your patients,” said Dr. Satish Kumar, president of the dermatology society.
“There are always fears that you will be attacked or treated unfairly.”
In an attempt to help these patients, dermatologists have been sharing their personal data on Facebook.
In a survey conducted by the dermatological society, more than 50% of respondents said they would prefer to work on a mobile device rather than in a desk or in a clinic.
According the association website, dermatology is a field where a lot of information is shared among dermatologists.
This information can be used to help patients and provide better diagnosis and treatment options.
In an effort to improve the situation, dermatological associations have started to develop a database of their patients.
The database is now available online and the association has also developed a website where dermatologists can upload their data and share their experiences.
Dr. Kumar said the hope is that it will help improve the dermatologists’ trust of their clients.
“We want to make sure that the information is available for everybody and we want the information to be shared freely,” he said.
While the Indian society is working to improve their digital health platform, Dr. Vaidhanathan said the profession needs to also take action to help prevent the spread of diseases.
Dr. Rishi Narayan, president and CEO of the Association of Indian Dermaologists, told The Times of India that dermatology has to change if we want to see a future where people have better access to healthcare.
“I have seen a lot more patients in the last few years who are not in their dermatology offices anymore, they are not working in their office, they have migrated to other fields like IT, they’re taking advantage of technology and the way it is changing,” he told The Indian Times.
“We have to take action and get our dermatology in sync with our technological advances.”