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Region Stockholm – customer case

Region Stockholm implement Dermicus teledermatology platform for early diagnosis of skin cancer at all their primary care centres for over 2.2 million patients.

Background

In 2015 the Swedish government initiated a national reform to standardize cancer patient pathways, enable the period from suspicion to start of treatment is made as short as possible – but without compromising on quality. As a part of this initiative, Region Stockholm has gradually evaluated teledermatology technology for efficient diagnosis of skin cancer, funded by RCC Stockholm Gotland (The Regional Cancer Centre).

The evaluation started as a pilot with ten primary care centres 2015, where GPs sent pictures of suspected skin cancer to dermatologists for remote expert assessment and diagnosis. Teledermatoscopy at more and more primary care centres, RCC Stockholm, October 2017.

The project was broadened, and in 2018, 48 primary care centres used Dermicus, Teledermatoscopy – a successful project that shortens waiting times, RCC Stockholm January 2019.

“It takes a long experience to distinguish early malignant melanoma from benign skin lesions. Thanks to teledermatology, we can move the specialist competence to primary care.”

Marie Sedvall, GP in Täby, Mobile solution shortens the waiting time for suspected malignant melanoma, RCC Stockholm, 2018.

Agreement in 2020

Region Stockholm is one of Europe’s largest healthcare providers covering a patient population of 2.2 million.

In the autumn 2020, Region Stockholm procured Dermicus to introduce a comprehensive platform that will provide a user-friendly, secure, and modern IT support for teledermatology for over 220 primary care centres. The centres are operated by both Region Stockholm and by private care providers.

Region Stockholm has signed a six-year agreement with Gnosco to deliver a broad introduction of the region’s new care process for teledermatology for more efficient management of patients with suspicious skin lesions.

GPs, in all 220 primary care centres in the region, will be able to document and photograph skin lesions with Dermicus app, a mobile phone and dermatoscope, and send them securely to skin specialists for remote expert assessment and diagnosis.

Ref: Project for wide introduction of teledermatoscopy, RCC Stockholm.

It’s a fun way to work! The earlier we find cancer, the better the patient’s prognosis. So, it feels very concrete and meaningful to work like this.”

Fedra Amorim, GP, S:t Eriks health centre, Teledermatoscopy provides quick answers to suspected cancer, Region Stockholm, Janusinfo, Evidence number 2, June 2020.

Part of the development of the care process for skin cancer

The objective is to facilitate the communication and collaboration between primary and secondary care to enable efficient, safe, and secure diagnosis of skin diseases.

The contract award to Gnosco (2 November 2020), for the procurement of the teledermatology platform, was made by the Healthcare Provision in Region Stockholm, the organisation responsible for placing orders for healthcare that is financed by public funds, and stated this about Dermicus:

“Broad introduction of teledermatology is part of the development of the care process for skin cancer and means that the region can offer better care at a lower cost as well as increased safety and accessibility for patients. A prerequisite for the working method is access to adequate IT support.”

 

Requirement’s specification

The procurement document “Delivery of Teledermatoscopy System, Region Stockholm, 2020-09-12” states that the goal of the procurement is a standardised, comprehensive system that is user-friendly and functional and that meets Region Stockholm’s need for new digital IT support for the care process for teledermatology.

“The system must be able to be integrated with other systems used by the region that are necessary to be able to carry out the region’s mission.”

More on the subject

More about the procurement, objectives, scope, and requirements specification where the system for teledermatology is described in more detail (Appendix 2), see: Delivery of Teledermatoscopy system, 2020-09-12, Region Stockholm, diary/reference number HSN 2020-116.

This extract from the procurement documentation describes the process and how Region Stockholm procured and introduce teledermatology.

More background, tips, advice and guidelines for development and implementation of teledermatology.

 

 

“Doctors at health centres who start using the technology quickly become better at finding skin cancer and more skilled at screening out age-related warts and other benign skin lesions.”

Jan Lapins, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, Karolinska University Hospital, Teledermatoscopy provides quick answers to suspected cancer, Region Stockholm, Janusinfo, Evidence number 2, June 2020.