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“Dermassistance” : A Mobile App From Piel Sana Foundation Of The Spanish Academy Of Dermatology And Venerology (AEDV)

“Dermassistance” : a mobile app from Piel Sana Foundation of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venerology (AEDV)

The initiative to create a space for Dermatology Solidarity within the Piel Sana Foundation of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venerology (AEDV) arose out of a desire to unify, as a group, a series of separate consciousnesses present in many Spanish dermatologists.
In recent years, solidarity has managed to forge a place for itself as a fundamental distinguishing feature of Spanish dermatology. Of course, solidarity has always been an intrinsic part of the medical profession, because there is no activity that helps people more than that which helps to fight diseases and save lives. Lately, this traditional solidarity has materialized in the organization of a number of public activities, which have served to underline the importance of dermatology solidarity in the social environment.

1. Dermatology Solidarity:

One of the proposals of Dermatology Solidarity of the Piel Sana Foundation of the AEDV for providing assistance to people in the most disadvantaged areas is to create a teledermatology network which, through the “Dermassistance” mobile app, facilitates the diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases for organizations and medical doctors dedicated to health cooperation anywhere in the world.

It is intended to be a space that addresses not only the concerns of dermatologists, but also those of national and international organizations carrying out actions or that have needs in the area of dermatology solidarity.
The initiative aims to contribute in the fight to improve healthcare for the most underprivileged groups, reaching where governments do not, in addition to collaborating on an individual or collective basis to improving skin-related health conditions.
With projects like this, Spanish dermatologists strengthen their solidarity every day, the best guarantee for the future and to the benefit of everyone.

2. The Dermassistance App:


Dermassistance is a free mobile application that facilitates online dermatological diagnoses in real time anywhere in the world, thanks to the collaboration of dermatologists from the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venerology.


The user interface is built on React Native (Facebook) and the server is Node.js, with MongoDB for the storage of information. It has passed stress tests to ensure its correct functioning in the event of explosive growth in the project (and is prepared, if necessary, to distribute the process over multiple servers).
The system uses reactive techniques that guarantee real time updating between the different online users, harnessing the communication potential of these types of technologies.
Moreover, when not connected, users will receive selective push notifications if their participation is required (with the option, in the case of dermatologists, to configure the types of cases for which they should be notified).
Dermassistance is a native application on both iOS and Android, and is implemented using open source technologies.
Data and security protocol: to ensure an efficient and effective Data Protection Policy, security measures of a technical and organizational nature have been adopted, in keeping with the requirements of current legislation on personal data protection.

All of the application’s communications are encrypted, maintaining the privacy of the patient at all times, and the professional has a tool to blur the images of the different cases to conceal any recognizable features.


Dermassistance is intended for healthcare personnel or aid workers in different regions of the world, enabling them to send reports and photographs of clinical cases of patients and request an online diagnosis from dermatologists in the Piel Sana Foundation of the AEDV.


Dermassistance is available for two clearly differentiated user profiles:
• Dermatologists who are members of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venerology.
• Aid workers or healthcare personnel.


Uploading of files:
• It enables the uploading of photographs, medical reports and documents in PDF format.
• Pictures can be taken live and uploaded to the application with enlargement options that provide a detailed display and a blur function for photographs to prevent the identification of the patient.
Types of cases: Tumors, infections, general dermatology, pediatric dermatology.

Geolocation system: Mandatory.
– My cases: Dermatological cases consulted, patients diagnosed and evolution.

– Cases:
• An interface will be displayed with the image (or images) uploaded (like a tactile carousel with enlargement options and the use of gestures for a detailed display of the same).
• The patient’s chart uploaded by the aid worker.
• Geolocation
• Language of the caller.
• Instant messenger chat session in which professionals can request additional information from the aid worker who posted the case and the latter can respond and even add new images.
• Dermatologists can send two types of messages: Normal Message (to request information) or Possible Diagnosis (in which case other dermatologists may select it to indicate their agreement, with an anonymous display of the level of support for each diagnosis in the event of disagreement).
– Languages available: Spanish and English.
– Instant messenger chat: Between dermatologists and healthcare personnel.

– Push notifications: When an aid worker uploads a case, which has been previously identified from among the various options (tumors, infections, general dermatology, pediatric, etc.), PUSH notifications will be sent to the professionals active in that specialty.
If no response is received in the established time period, the system will automatically send notifications to professionals who have selected “general dermatology.”

– Exchange of knowledge in a collaborative environment.


The official website of the Dermassistance mobile application is


Dermassistance is a native application on both iOS and Android, and is implemented using open source technologies.

• Download the application to an Android device at this link.
• Download the application to an iOS device at this link.

Usage data:
In the application’s short life span, there have already been collaboration in consultations regarding cases associated with the earthquake in Nepal, in Tanzania, in hospitals in Mozambique, in South America, in Arabia, in Ethiopia.
Currently, there are more than 50 Spanish dermatologists and 20 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) registered.
“We are convinced that our enthusiasm for this project will work to the benefit of everyone,” affirms Dr. Ríos.
Dr. Daudi Rajabu, from Tanzania, speaks in the first person to relate his experience in this first teledermatology solidarity project and points out that “it can save lives and improve medical care” because it enables an early and shared diagnosis of skin diseases, as well as the therapeutic application, and often in real time, points out Sergio Vañó, Head of New Technologies at the AEDV.
In regard to the most frequent diseases that have been handled through this collaborative exchange, Dr. Ríos indicates that “it has been a bit of everything”: infection’s, scabies, tumors. Therapies are applied based on the resources available in the area where the consultation is made, sometimes impoverished populations.

3. Team:

Original idea and scientific coordination of:
The Piel Sana Foundation of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venerology (AEDV).
Scientific Advisory Committee:
Dr. Luis Ríos Buceta:
• Dermatologist at the Ramón y Cajal Hospital.
• Secretary General of the AEDV.
• Head of Dermatology Solidarity of the Piel Sana Foundation of the AEDV.
• Specialist in cutaneous oncology and Mohs surgery.
• Coordinator of the Spanish Melanoma Register.

Dr. Sergio Vañó:
• Dermatologist at the Ramón y Cajal Hospital.
• Head of New Technologies and Social Networks of the AEDV.
• Honorary Professor at the Universidad de Alcalá.
• Coordinator of the Group for Innovation in Medical Technologies of the IRYCIS-Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid.
• President of the Association of Researchers in eHealth (AIES).
• Creator, together with Dr. Luis Ríos, of the Fotoskin app, which aids in the prevention and diagnosis of skin cancer through photographic self-monitoring and study of the skin and provides personalized advice and recommendations for proper photoprotection.
• Creator, in collaboration with several dermatologists, of the Dermomedia app, a dermatology application that trains doctors, nurses and caretakers in the field of dermatology and helps in the identification of skin diseases.

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