SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A San Francisco firm has unveiled an app designed for people with acne that connects them with doctors and a treatment plan, while offering a look into the emerging market of telemedicine.

The Spruce Health app, released to the public on Thursday, steps patients through an intial “exam” as one would at a regular doctors office.

Patients take photos of their skin and answer pre-programmed questions much like those they would get at a dermatologists office.

After stepping through the program, a board-certified dermatologist reviews the case and sends the patient a personalized treatment plan that includes a prescription sent to the patient’s preferred pharmacy.

Patients can also access a library of information related to acne and skin care, and send follow-up questions to the dermatologist through the app.

Spruce says it also plans to roll out its telemedicine platform to treat other conditions in the future, but it has not specified which conditions.

Telemedicine, the use of technology to provide clinical care from a distance, is expected to become more prevalent with the increased adoption of wearable tech devices that monitor body systems.

The app is free but a virtual consultation with a dermatologist costs $40 and can be paid with a credit card or flexible spending account card. Currently it is only available to patients in California, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania.

 

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