A randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of online follow-up visits in the management of acne.

Source: Watson, A. J., et al. 2010 - Pubmed ID: 20404229

Setting: USA, 2 Teaching hospital

Study design:


Follow up:
24 weeks

Patient group:


Total: 151 (121)

IG: 74 (54)

CG: 77 (67)

Inclusion criteria:

– Mild to moderate acne

– 12 years or older

Type of technology:

Web site
– Upload pic-tures
– Answer dis-ease-specific questions
– Modify treat-ments
– Clarify patient history
– Attach elec-tronic prescrip-tions



Patients capture 3 facial digital images and upload them to a secure website and complete a structured set of disease-specific questions online. Dermatologists responded to e-visit subjects within 3 business days. The e-visit platform allowed physicians to modify treatments, clarify the history, and attach electronic prescriptions.

Duration: 24 weeks (4 follow up e-visits with dermatologist at 6 weeks intervals)

Add on: NA 

Control group: In clinic follow up.

Clinical effect/ Patient safety:

 Clinical effect:

– Change in total inflammatory lesions →

– Acne improvement →

Patient safety:


Patient experiences/ Staff experiences:

Patient experiences:

– Satisfaction

– Proportion of patients who would consider using e-visit again 91%

Staff experiences:

– Satisfaction with overall care →

Costs and organization:


Staff resources

– Development of web site

– Training staff to review digital images.


Staff resources

– Dermatologist responding e-visit.


– Development of new skills (

Health care utilization:

– Time per visit →

Scroll to Top


“↑”: Statistically significant increase

“↓”: Statistically significant decrease

“→”: Statistically insignificant (no difference)