Harnessing the power of dermatology clinical research expertise can help you, and your patients benefit from a more personalized, data-driven approach to treating skin conditions. It provides reliable, consistent, objective assessment results that will ensure you have the correct answers for suitable patients at the right time.
Accurate, consistent, and objective assessments
While ignoring dermatology clinical research expertise assessments may be tempting, they are still in sight. The best way to measure the efficacy of your treatments is to have an objective and reproducible method of collecting data. Whether you are doing it yourself or outsourcing it to a third party, there are several ways to ensure your findings are deemed meaningful by regulators. One of the most valuable tools is a specialized software program that will allow you to quantify and document the changes in your disease over time. This will reduce the variability of your results and make it easier to demonstrate tangible improvement. Other valuable tools include photography, trans-dermal water loss, and other imaging techniques. These will all contribute to accurately and consistently measuring your skin condition. For example, in psoriasis trials, investigators use imaging techniques to quantify the number and size of lesions better. The best and most helpful tool in the dermatological field is the PASI, or Psoriasis Area and Severity Index. While it does not represent all psoriasis cases, it is a useful measure of disease severity. Other measures include the Skindex and the Euroqol. Although these tests have yet to be widely used by the average dermatologist, they have merit. However, they can only be relied upon with some level of training. A medical monitor can help educate investigators about the tools available to them and ensure they use the right ones.
Personalized, data-driven dermatology
The digital health industry has enormous potential to improve patient care, and dermatology is no exception. However, the field needs a standardized methodology to capture patient data over time. Integrating data from various sources is crucial to take full advantage of digital technology. There is a growing trend in using artificial intelligence to assist patient care. Specifically, machine learning is being used to aid in treatment planning and optimization. Machine learning algorithms can also help in the prediction of disease flares. One example is the use of deep learning to identify and classify 26 common skin conditions. This technology has been shown to have accuracy comparable to that of a dermatologist. A more technically sophisticated approach is using computer vision to analyze images and quickly extract essential details from these images. Using a system that mimics the human visual system, these algorithms can quickly and accurately detect lesions and determine the most appropriate treatments for patients. While the computer vision algorithm has been around for some time, recent research has shown that using a supervised neural network can increase the speed and accuracy of the algorithm’s ability to perform complex computations. Another clever way to make better use of machine learning is to use it to ingest patient-generated and laboratory-derived information. By doing so, physicians and researchers can improve the quality of dermatological care.
Lack of patient input into the research question design
Having patients help you with your research is one thing. However, it’s another to have a research topic they’re interested in. The right questions are a must. It’s a good idea to get their feedback, and it’s an excellent way to make your participants feel like they’re part of the decision-making process. The best way to do this is to give them a sense of ownership, a healthy dose of respect, and a small budget to work with. This is particularly true of minority and vulnerable patients who might not be as enthusiastic about your research if they thought they were being treated like guinea pigs. Keeping the lines of communication open is essential to the health of your participants. For example, a little help from your research colleagues might be all it takes to get a patient to participate. Setting up meetings with them is a great way to make your patients feel more valued and informed about their treatment options. Among other things, the biggest challenge to your research is convincing patients to participate in the first place. To that end, there are many tactics you can use to get people to engage. Using social media and advertising your project in person and via email are all effective ways to get your name out there. Other methods include contacting charities and asking them to conduct online surveys.
Social media platforms
The social media craze is accurate, and with the number of users on the rise, the opportunity to utilize this technology is ever-increasing. This is especially the case in dermatology, where social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can provide an avenue for physicians to promote their services and connect with patients, all in the name of research. Numerous studies and surveys have been conducted to quantify social media’s impact on the medical world. It is, therefore, no surprise that the number of dermatology-related publications on the platform has increased exponentially over the past decade. While the most popular social networking sites have been around for a while, it is only in the last few years that they have become genuinely relevant to dermatology. Several of these sites can now offer chat rooms, medical forums, and augmented reality to allow physicians to interact with their patients in real-time. Social media is also an excellent avenue for demonstrating the latest in new medical equipment and providing a forum for exchanging information about skin diseases and treatments.