The Telepsoriasis study is a teledermatology project implemented by the University Hospital for Dermatology Graz (Universitätsklinik für Dermatologie Graz) and e-derm-consult, which is carried out at the Medical University of Graz and in other centers in Austria (Klagenfurt, Salzburg, Wels, Wiener Neustadt). As part of the project, patients suffering from psoriasis and being treated with the biologic ustekinumab (Stelara®) are able to send images of skin alterations from standard smartphones via a secure connection to their attending physician or contact him directly. This allows a better monitoring of the course of the disease and the patient’s response to the treatment.

Psoriasis is one of the most common chronic skin diseases; about 20% of the world’s population are affected. The disease can occur at any age, although there are two peaks of initial manifestation: adolescence and young adults, as well as between the ages of 50 and 60. The most common form is psoriasis vulgaris affecting approximately 90% of all patients. This form of the disease typically appears as red patches covered with silvery scales. It can affect any part of the body, whereas elbows, knees, the lower back and the skin of the hair bearing head region are most commonly affected. In many cases, the disease has a negative impact on the quality of life of the affected person.

Progression of the disease
The progression of psoriasis can be marked by phases of worsening and recovery. Sometimes, patients suffer from a continuous worsening. As of today, no cure is available for psoriasis. Systemic long-term treatment (medications, syringes, infusions) often has a beneficial effect on the symptoms of the disease. This requires treatment methods, which are adapted to the individual needs of each patient, and constant monitoring of the course of the disease. Evaluating the disease’s progression on a regular basis to adjust the therapy method if necessary, is of great importance. Side effects, which can occur during various traditional systemic therapy methods, are also possible during the treatment with biologics. Identifying such side effects in an early stage and a physician’s quick feedback to it, increases the therapeutic safety. Further, it improves the contact between patient and treating physician.

The objective of this telepsoriasis project is to provide modern and optimal therapeutic measures for a chronic disease, such as psoriasis, by means of modern telecommunication methods.