L’Oréal, Brazilian Dermatology Society and UFSC start a joint national Teledermatology project aimed at patients of the Brazilian National Healthcare System SUS
The telemedicine lab at UFSC started this month a national joint Teledermatology project for the prevention of skin cancer and other skin diseases in partnership with the Brazilian Dermatology Society SBD and the multinational company L’Oreal. This ambitious project, conceived together by the three organizing partners, will initially involve 19 dermatological reference centers distributed among nine states of the country, which will offer dermatological telediagnosis and triage to a large number of primary healthcare facilities of the Brazilian National Public Healthcare System SUS. It is expected that the project will expand to up to 80 dermatological reference centers offering teledermatology services to the whole country until the end of 2022.
The conception of the project started from the interest of the L’Oréal Group, through its brand La Roche-Posay, of expanding the reach of its annual skin cancer prevention initiative called Tour de Combate ao Câncer de Pele and from the perception of the Brazilian Dermatology Society that the technology and the process models of the Telemedicine and Telehealth Integrated System (STT), developed by the Federal University of Santa Catarina, have become a technological reference in telemedicine and telehealth systems and is the ideal tool too massively broaden the dermatological care. The STT has been developed continuously at UFSC for the last 22 years in partnership with the Santa Catarina State Health Office (SES-SC) and the teledermatology service for the SUS in Santa Catarina has been offered since 2013.
“Teledermatology is not the future of dermatological care. It was the future in 2011, when we were conceiving the service that we initially implemented in Santa Catarina. Today our Teledermatology model is a mature solution, widely tested and extremely important in the present pandemic scenario and that needs urgently to be implemented in the whole country. With the partnership of our University with L’Oreal and the Brazilian Dermatology Society, we are, in fact, creating the first National Teledermatology Network in Brazil” explains Aldo von Wangenheim, professor, researcher and coordinator of the Brazilian National Institute for Digital Convergence (INCoD/UFSC).
Besides presenting gains in the economy, speed and democratization in the access to the dermatological services, the Teledermatology model developed at UFSC has also become an important tool in pandemic times. According to the professor of dermatology Daniel Holthausen Nunes, teledermatology coordinator of the SBD, who also is active at the teledermatology service in Santa Catarina, “because of the pandemic and the official recognition of the telemedicine as an accepted practice by the Health Ministry and the Brazilian Federal Medicine Council, we could envision the use of this tool [STT] by the various reference dermatology services in Brazil. The speed up of the diagnostic process, the considerable reduction of costs for the public health system and the resolutive capacity that it aggregates at the primary healthcare level were fundamental factors for the decision of the implementation of this teledermatology service, which sensibly improves the outcome and the resolution of the patient’s problem. These were the qualities perceived by the Brazilian Dermatology Society and L’Oréal that led us to believe in the project already developed by STT/UFSC”.
This joint project has the financial support of L’Oréal and aims at the care of patients of the Brazilian National Public Healthcare System SUS, operating aligned to the National Teledermatology Offer Project which is operated by the Telehealth Service at UFSC and has the financial support of the Brazilian Health Ministry, which already offers teledermatology services for the states of Acre, Bahia, Goiás, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. The expectations are that, starting with this project, UFSC Telemedicine will be able to expand this offer to other states, with the support of specialized dermatology hospitals associated to the Brazilian dermatology Society, facilitating access to the patients of the Brazilian Public National Health System SUS to dermatological care.