Publishing a research paper as a young author can be a daunting experience. It is therefore very important that scientific publishers support young researchers through every step of the experience from data gathering to the final dissemination of the article.
We spoke with Dr. med. Sora Jung, dermatologist at the Charité in Berlin, about her publishing experiences with us. She recently published her research article “In vivo skin penetration, radical protection and structural changes after topical application of a herbal oil cream compared to topical calcipotriol in mild to moderate psoriasis” in Karger’s journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology.
What is your research background and area of specialization?
I am a dermatologist at the Charité Center of Experimental and Applied Cutaneous Physiology with a main research focus on non-invasive in-vivo imaging methods of the skin, the interaction of antioxidants and free oxygen species, dermatological toxicities under chemotherapy, and clinical studies in the fields of dermatology and skin physiology.
You recently published a manuscript in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, can you tell us a little about your paper?
In this study, an herbal oil cream was compared to the standard treatment of care in mild to moderate psoriasis along with the assessment of skin physiological parameters using laser scan microscopy, Raman microscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy.
How do you think the findings of your study might be used in the future?
Since our research group has a focus on the interaction of cutaneous antioxidants and free radicals, we have been investigating various topically and systemically applied agents with antioxidative properties. The findings present an alternative skin care treatment in mild psoriasis, which can be used as a supplement or alternative to the standard topical psoriatic treatment.
Why did you decide to publish this study with Karger?
The authors of the study were looking for a journal that covers the technical part of the different skin parameters, as well as the clinical study part. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology had a suitable focus and readership for the key messages in our study.
Can you tell us a little about your experience of publishing with Karger?
The submission and peer review process were uncomplicated and clear. All our questions were directly answered, and the publication process was relatively fast.
What would you tell someone considering submitting to Karger for the first time?
I would recommend checking whether the focus of the considered journal matches the paper and to be prepared for a thorough peer review.
What advice would you give to researchers writing their first articles to get the most out of the publishing process?
I would recommend having the publication critically read before submission. The thorough peer review might reveal possible critical points or flaws that can be addressed beforehand to enhance the chances of acceptance.
Thank you very much for telling us about your research and experience publishing with us here at Karger. We are certain that your comments will help others in the future.
Read Sora’s article and the latest from Dermatology.
If you are interested in publishing with Karger, read this blog post on the submission process at Karger and find the answers to all the common questions.
Medical applications, teledermatology, machine learning: There is a vast trend of digitalization in dermatology, and we are at the forefront.
Digital Health is firmly established in the knowledge landscape of Karger Publishers’ Kompass series. We publish focus issues, numerous individual articles, and now also a recurring section of our Kompass Dermatologie. This is a positive development considering that “[t]he digital transformation in healthcare will significantly change medicine in the coming years. And this affects diagnostics, therapy, and follow-up care” — as Prof. Dr. David Matusiewicz describes it in the issue of Kompass Dermatologie focusing on “Digitalization in Dermatology”. Prof. Matusiewicz, who was working on Big Data in dermatology as early as 2012, is well known in the field of Digital Transformation in Healthcare, and we welcome his collaboration. Dermatology in particular is predestined for the use of digital innovations, neural network support, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
Quality Assurance Is Important
Thus, an entire issue is dedicated to this subject. “We will have to get used to the dermatologist in the trouser pocket”, says Prof. Matusiewicz — and the content of issue 4-2020 reflects the multitude of smartphone applications. Applications such as derma2go, AppDoc, NALA, and imitoCam show the broad spectrum of possibilities. Apps enable direct access to dermatological assessments, record the course of disease, and promote therapy adherence, as well as supporting physicians via photo documentation. However, as Dr. Wiebke Sondermann points out: “To ensure quality, scientific evaluation of new teledermatological applications is essential.”
AppDoc, for example, has undergone such an evaluation. The first scientifically assessed experiences are positive and indicate a high level of diagnostic and therapeutic quality of the application. Despite the euphoria surrounding the advancing development and use of apps and AI systems, physicians now face new challenges: “They must be able to deal with this second opinion”, says Lion Lehmann in his article on the opportunities and limitations of apps in dermatology with regard to prevention, treatment, data protection, and patient safety. In addition, the physician remains liable for potential misdiagnoses. New technical advances thus harbour both opportunities and challenges for patient safety.
Guidelines for Teledermatology
Since October 2020, the S2k guideline Teledermatology has been providing orientation and recommendations for daily practice in Germany. Two authors simultaneously reviewed the new guideline for the Kompass. Dr. Natalia Kirsten, who was part of the expert committee that created the guideline, states: “With the publication of the guideline, there is now also legal support for the use of teledermatology.” However, she goes on to caution: “There are, nevertheless, numerous limitations that arise from lack of evidence for the use of teledermatology procedures for individual diagnoses.” Dr. Estefania Lang also sees room for improvement in the new teledermatology guideline: “The question of which teledermatology tools and procedures could and should be used in a patient at a certain time definitely needs further study.”
Digital Competence for Doctors, Orientation for Patients
In any case, the care of dermatological patients is increasingly informed by digital features, a fact that is somewhat less of a headache for young physicians as “digital natives” than it is for older colleagues. As Max Tischler of the Alliance of Young Doctors and Young Dermatologists points out: “There is a need for further education and training for physicians in order to meet the growing demands of patients and new technologies such as Big Data, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence”. He adds: “At present, digital competence is not always reflected in the continuing professional development regulations for physicians”. For the future, young doctors wish for basic training in digital technologies as part of their continuing education as well as optimal technical equipment at the workplace. In this context, the Alliance of Young Doctors requested the establishment of a “Doctor of Digital Medicine” on June 15, 2020, a kind of quality seal to provide orientation for digitally minded patients.
Dream Team – Human & Machine
An example from the Technical University of Munich shows how digital competence can already be promoted among medical students. In May 2019, the interdisciplinary course “New Technology and the Healthcare of Tomorrow” was offered for the first time under the direction of Dr. Alexander Zink. Interdisciplinarity is particularly important to the organizers of the seminar, with the goal that participants should learn about the many facets of digitalization. Therefore, start-up representatives and political spokespersons, but also lawyers, ethicists, financial experts, and hackers will be giving lectures.
Dr. Zink is also the contact person for the Digital Dermatology working group of the German Dermatological Society, which aims to create a network of all those interested in new technologies in dermatology. An important goal! As Prof. Matusiewicz states: “Digitalization is teamwork. It means above all connectivity and communication, nothing more.” The team of human and machine will increasingly act as a dream team in which each compensates for the other’s weaknesses, leading to better practice in dermatology. It is our goal and motivation to contribute to this.
Are you involved in digitization in medicine and would like to share your experiences with us?