By Sofia Ververakis, a 4th Year Victorian University Dermal Science Student.
As the world constantly evolves and requires us to connect in different ways, Tele-health has become an integral part of Medicine, Allied Health and Clinical Practice. In society today our ability to travel freely is uncertain, telehealth and resources such as the SSE Algorithm allow patients to take control over their health and keep in contact with medical professionals in a private and professional fashion. As part of our final year at Victoria University we, a group of Dermal Science undergraduates, endeavoured to create a tool that assists people of various locations and communities to readily access the information required to perform a Skin Self-Examinations. This topic was of particular importance to us since, as Australians, we hold the highest skin cancer rate globally and are commonly reminded that early detection is key in reducing the incidence of this disease.
Our intention is to make this resource accessible and easy to use, therefore we have chosen to create a flowchart that provides the user with instructions on how to conduct a skin self-examination and analyse their lesion, as well as when to contact a medical professional.
Additionally, the reverse side of the pamphlet contains educational information for the patient containing the characteristics of melanoma, as well as an instructive step-by-step description of a Skin Self-Examination (SSE).
We envision that our tool will be distributed to all medical practices, where they can be used to identify which patients are at risk of skin cancer or to be used as a tool at home for those who would like to conduct routine Self Skin Examinations.
The algorithm would be available in 2 forms:
Physical form: a professionally printed, 2-page A4 pamphlet
Online: accessible electronically via email as a PDF.
Being available online bridges the gap for clients that would otherwise have to travel far or incur costs to visit a clinic. Contact details are provided for relevant services, linking patients to their nearest medical facility.
Our vision for this resource is to assist all citizens in accessing and connecting with the appropriate medical professionals needed to detect and maintain cancerous and non-cancerous lesions.