Teledermatology access gets under students’ skin

By Dana Sootodeh


Got a skin problem?

University of the Incarnate Word students have a new way to get a dermatologist’s consultation regarding skin problems within a matter of minutes. It’s called “teledermatology” and UIW students need only access to get answers. is a HIPAA-secure website that allows students direct access to a dermatologist for their skin care issues. HIPAA is an acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers. The standards are meant to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation’s health care system by encouraging the widespread use of electronic data interchange in the U.S. health care system

Through the means of a computer, UIW students can receive quick answers, including diagnosis and treatment.

This is how it works. A picture of the student’s skin problem is taken in UIW’s Health Services Office. The picture is immediately forwarded to a board-certified dermatologist on  The student then can be diagnosed and prescribed something to help her or his situation.

Longtime Health Services Director Marveen Mahon, a registered nurse, works with Dr. Scott Henslee at San Antonio Skin & Cancer Clinic to help make teledermatology possible.

“Telemedicine is the wave of the future,” Mahon said. “Teledermatology provides a time-saving, cost-effective way to get a diagnosis online and if necessary, provide a prescription within 24 hours.” allows students to work around their schedule, instead of waiting for weeks to be seen, she said.

“For more complicated cases, it’s a very fast way to find out if you need a follow-up with a dermatologist in person.” Mahon says.

Students are charged $50 a visit, with follow up e-mails from the dermatologist included in the cost.

“Students have to pay online with (a) credit card at the time of the referral,” Mahon said.  “In the future, the doctor hopes to get insurance to cover this type of telemedicine.”


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