Bringing Teledermatology to Tajikistan

Telemedicine technology and in particular, teledermatology is a modern solution for connecting patients from more distant or remote areas to medical care. Telemedicine technology has a lot of potential in Tajikistan given that the majority of the country is made up of mountainous terrain and traveling to the capital city of Dushanbe can be difficult especially in the winter when weather conditions are poor.  In January 2017, with a grant from the American Academy of Dermatology, we introduced store and forward teledermatology for the first time in Tajikistan. The idea behind this initiative was to allow referring dermatologists from different parts of Tajikistan to consult the most experienced dermatologists in the capital using telemedicine. The PASHA team, working with local leaders, provided the technology and training in the use of software and hardware, taking advantage of Google Drive as a free program that is easy to use and secure. Thus far, more than 200 patients have received care using this portal and with new support from the American Academy of Dermatology, the project is currently undergoing expansion and is being incorporated into resident teaching.