Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 26, 2020

Dr. Tim Ioannides On Mohs Surgery, Technology, and Breakthroughs in Dermatology


            From the earliest days of mankind, the quest for a long, healthy, and fruitful existence has led bright individuals on the quest to discover the secrets to maintaining long-term health, developing preventive measures of protection against visible ailments, and treating symptoms through the most modern version of intervention available. From exploring rudimentary and experimental practices with available resources, to observing the ways in which the natural world heals itself, individuals interested in healthcare have fought to discover ways to aid humankind through medical intervention. Throughout generations, pivotal advancements in the realm of healthcare have allowed medical leaders to create vaccines, discover genetic markers, manifest preventative measures against diseases, and accomplish breakthroughs previously seen as impossible.

            Within these medical advancements, technology has played a pivotal role in providing the tools needed to successfully marry brilliant thoughts, the scientific method, and forward-thinking experimentation. From these joint ventures, some of the world’s most remarkable health breakthroughs have been forged. With the global implementation of the internet, and the newfound global connectivity it provided, the rate of advancement within medicine has been vastly increased. As leaders from across the globe have garnered the ability to share information in real-time, and tech companies have focused on providing the most cutting edge materials required by the medical industry to thrive, the proverbial Golden Age of Technology has translated into a massively important time in the realm of medical advancement.

            Dr. Tim Ioannides, and The Golden Age of Dermatology

            Affected profusely by the vast medical advancements of the last two decades, the realm of Medical Dermatology has taken great strides toward generating positive outcomes for various dermatological concerns. Aided by technology, this medical niche has generated bold moves toward bringing a skin cancer vaccine to market, developing the most concise skin cancer surgery, and implementing an international campaign to raise awareness of various dermatological diseases.

            At the helm of the Medical Dermatology field, Florida’s Dr. Tim Ioannides has not only witnessed these great advancements unfolding within what he considers to be the Golden Age of Dermatology, but he’s played an instrumental role in developing, researching, and implementing many cutting-edge practices in the forward-moving world of Medical Dermatology. As the CEO, owner, and Medical Dermatologist behind the ever-growing multi-location Treasure Coast Dermatology, Dr. Ioannides has loyally served Florida’s Martin, Saint Lucie, and Indian River counties for many years. Driven by the innate desire to help his loyal patients maintain long-term health and dermatological wellness, Dr. Ioannides developed his practice to specialize in skin cancer treatment, skin related disease treatment, and preventative treatment, education, and empowerment. Unlike many Dermatologists, Dr. Ioannides has chosen to exclude cosmetically driven procedures from his practice, dedicating his medical prowess to the vast realm of Medical Dermatology.

            Through his ongoing commitment to implementing the most advanced practices for the betterment of his patients, Dr. Ioannides has played an important role in the modernization of the Medical Dermatology field, and has been involved in many ventures aimed at increasing awareness, developing breakthroughs, and implementing technology to assist Physicians in implementing best care practices. For many years, Dr. Ioannides has helped to shape the future of the field by volunteering his time as a Voluntary Associate Professor at his alma mater, the University of Miami School of Medicine. There, Dr. Ioannides teaches courses related to dermatological surgery, and reconstructive surgery, implementing his expertise to inspire future leaders in the field of Medical Dermatology.

            Skin Cancer Vaccine

            Dubbed by Dr. Ioannides as perhaps the most significant breakthrough within the field of Dermatology in his lifetime, the Medical Dermatologist took part in a breakthrough study related to the development of a skin cancer vaccine. The research study, which took place roughly seven years ago, gained positive initial results, and was a beacon of hope against the ongoing worldwide prevalence of skin cancer.

            While various dermatological conditions can potentially become lethal, skin cancer has predominantly been considered as the most dangerous skin related disease. With the prevalence of tanning bed usage, proverbial sun worshipping, and potential lack of insight related to the swift dangers of unprotected sun exposure, millions of people are affected by skin cancer annually. Though the death rate for Basal Cell Carcinoma, Malignant Melanoma, and Squamous Cell Carcinoma may have diminished slightly, the prevalence of the diagnosis rate has not minimized on a global scale. Without a proverbial end in sight, experts within the field of Medical Dermatology have dedicated vast time, energy, and resources into implementing breakthrough technology to create an effective skin cancer vaccine, a groundbreaking feat that would undoubtedly save countless lives.

            For Dr. Ioannides, bringing an effective skin cancer vaccination to market would be a pivotal moment in the history of Medical Dermatology. Thus, he proudly took part in the research phases for the proposed skin cancer vaccination. Through the implementation of newly burgeoning technologies, leaders within the industry have begun to consider ways in which skin cancers behaves like an infectious disease. Previously unconsidered, this newly blossoming thought process, which aims to identify the expected behaviors of skin cancer by drawing a parallel to the normalized behaviors of infectious disease, was the basis for the proposed skin cancer vaccination. By pivoting the means of thinking, leading experts were able to generate a vaccine based on this new thought process. In turn, the vaccine has showcased considerable research success amongst trial participants, and could soon become a momentous breakthrough in the realm of Medical Dermatology.

           

Mohs Micrographic Surgery

            Considered by industry experts as the most concise way to remove skin cancer, the successful worldwide implementation of the specialized Mohs Surgery has been a pivotal advancement in the efficacy of skin cancer treatment. Requiring special certifications, lab conditions, and education, Mohs Surgery is performed by skilled Medical Dermatologists, including Dr. Ioannides, who cites the procedure as the most effective way to ensure the most fruitful outcome.

            Developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs at the University of Wisconsin, the comprehensive procedure not only successfully eliminates affected skin cells, but it allows Physicians the opportunity to immediately examine the removed tissue, in an attempt to eliminate all “roots” of the cancer. This all-encompassing methodology allows highly skilled Medical Dermatologists like Dr. Ioannides to provide the most comprehensive care of an affected area, effectively removing all dangerous and cancerous tissues, examining removed tissue for efficacy. As a result of this forward-thinking procedure, which relies on technologically-driven microscopic examination of removed tissue, Mohs Micrographic Surgery is widely considered to harvest the most effective outcome in skin cancer treatment across the world.

            Highly localized, the procedure removes cancerous lesions or tumors, as well as potentially affected nearby tissue, where skin cancer’s “roots” have been traditionally left behind via mere cancer removal. These roots, in turn, have previously been able to manifest as cancerous re-growths. Thus, through the comprehensive removal of all “roots”, the skin cancer’s re-emergence rate has dramatically dwindled, proving the procedure to be highly effective. As Mohs Surgery is specialized, specific guidelines for practice exist, and only Medical Dermatologists who have met all guidelines are able to perform the intervention.

            Due to the growing prevalence of Mohs Surgery, and the efficacy of the treatment, specialized training has become available throughout many Residency programs, specialized Fellowship programs, and intensive training courses. In addition to specialized training, Medical Dermatologists who perform Mohs Surgery must operate in surgical and laboratory facilities that meet the bespoke criteria for Mohs Surgery, and must be supported by a well-trained Mohs nursing staff, and histotechnological support staff. Through these bespoke guidelines and criteria, the industry has been able to successfully monitor, support, grow, and regulate a highly-specialized procedure that requires the successful marriage of medical skill, and technology. In terms of surgical skin cancer intervention, Dr. Ioannides cites Mohs Surgery as being an integral advancement in increasing the efficacy of skin cancer removal.

            Tech and Self-Awareness

            In the field of Medical Dermatology, patient self-awareness and autonomy are critical in terms of recognizing potential skin condition changes. Thus, championing patients to become thoroughly aware of their own skin is key in fostering a relationship conducive to allowing the patient to feel confident in reporting any perceived changes. While self-education and awareness has always been taught by Medical Dermatologists, alongside smart-sun practices, technological advancements have made it considerably easier for patients to take a proactive approach to self-monitoring. Through the widespread popularity of smartphones, patients are now able to regularly photograph all moles, beauty marks, and skin discolorations, tagging each photo with a bodily location and date. Forward thinking Medical Dermatologists like Dr. Ioannides encourage patients to catalog all skin related conditions, like moles, and to regularly recapture photographs, looking for changes. Similar to traditional mole checks, these digital versions allow patients to zoom in on particular facets of moles, or capture a good look at moles that may be in hard to see areas. In this case, technology has armed patients with the tools needed to accurately keep records of their moles, seek changes, and act accordingly.

            Similarly, technological advancements have made it easier to implement technology for tertiary purposes related to skincare. For example, Dr. Ioannides encourages patients to regularly set alarms to reapply sunscreen, rendering the entire process of reapplying sunscreen totally automated, allowing patients to enjoy whatever activities they are partaking in, knowing they will still be practicing sun-safe interventions.

            Tech Drawbacks In A Patient-First Industry

            While technical advancements have certainly maximized what has become routinely possible, and have played pivotal roles in the modernization of the medical field, reliance on an overabundance of technology within a medical setting has also created a new set of very real concerns. As increasing numbers of healthcare professionals rely on electronic record keeping, and the assistance of technologically advanced tools throughout appointments becomes the norm, potential issues can arise in terms of effective communication, patient expectation, and the overall patient-doctor relationship. In many medical fields, including Medical Dermatology, the construct of patient reporting is crucial toward maximizing care. However, in order to generate an environment conducive to patient sharing, tech distractions can sometimes deter from the ambiance of a patient-first environment. With too many distractions, and limited eye contact, patients can sometimes leave visits feeling unheard, unseen, and most of all, uncomfortable.

            Thus, in order to foster a proactive long-term relationship with all patients, Dr. Ioannides has enacted a tech-free policy throughout patient appointments. Without the need to constantly type notes while patients are describing potentially sensitive issues, Dr. Ioannides can focus his energy on not only providing extensive medial assistance, but also championing proactive communication that could ultimately become a matter of life and death. By encouraging patients to speak about any perceived skin changes, and following through on communicated concerns, Dr. Ioannides is taking proactive steps to ensuring that his attention remains on the patient at all times, a feat that is somewhat difficult to accomplish when looking at a screen throughout the majority of a visit. At Treasure Coast Dermatology, in lieu of typing patient notes throughout appointments, valuable face-to-face interaction is garnered through the utilization of audio recording via smartphone. This important dialogue is captured via audio, and then transcribed appropriately into patient charts, nursing notes, and other needed collateral to complete or update a patient profile.

            By pivoting his in-visit use of technology to compliment the needs of patients, Dr. Ioannides is able to maintain a thoroughly modern practice, while seamlessly meeting the ongoing needs of his patients. This blending of technology, an focus on communication, allows Dr. Ioannides to capture the best facets of technology, without losing the personal touch that is absolutely necessary to maintain effective patient-Physician relationships.

            Throughout his extensive career within the Medical Dermatology field, Dr. Tim Ioannides has witnessed various advancements in his niche field. From partaking in breakthrough skin cancer vaccine research, to implementing the most concise skin cancer surgery practices, Dr. Ioannides has embodied an effective example of an innovative Physician eager to propel his industry forward. Through the implementation of useful technologies, and the championing of groundbreaking products, Dr. Ioannides has played an integral role in the advancement of Medical Dermatology, and continues to strive to serve the needs of his community on a daily basis, as well as on a long-term scale.

Follow Dr. Tim Ioannides on Twitter and ThriveGlobal today.








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