Our results indicate that teledermatology management of referred skin complaints is both accurate and reliable. — Australian Journal of Dermatology (2001) 42, 247–251
What is Teledermatology:
Teledermatology is the practice of seeing a dermatologist remotely. It has become very popular in the last several years, as more people are going online to meet the demands of dermatology care. The reason for this is the lack of access to a dermatologist. There are only 3.2 dermatologist for every 100,000 Americans in the US and most cities don’t even have one dermatologist. Even if you were to live in a city that has a dermatologist, the average wait time exceeds 20 days. This means that by the time you see a dermatologist, the rash has either already resolved or you have already ended up at the Emergency Room with an expensive ER bill. For these reasons and the fact that most people don’t have the time to drive to a dermatologist office, online dermatology has become very popular. However, to be effective, teledematology has to demonstrate a high level of accuracy and reliability.
Methods of Teledermatology:
There are currently two methods of performing teledermatology. One is a live-video chat and the other one is using a store-and-forward technology. Live video involves live steaming of video between the patient and the doctor. On the other hand, store-and-forward involves the patient taking photos of the skin and then sending it over to the doctor. The doctor reviews the photos and submits back a treatment plan along with medications sent to the pharmacy. At DermCheck Dermatology, we use both services, store-and-forward technology and live video chats
Accuracy and Reliability of TeleDermatology
According to a study of Australian Journal of Dermatology (Australasian Journal of Dermatology 2001; 42, 247–251), 53 cases were studied using store-and-forward technology. Four dermatologist reviewed the 53 cases. Mean concordance between the 4 dermatologist was 79%. In another Australian study, the accuracy rate in the diagnosis of 35 skin conditions using store-and-forward technology was 83%. (Tait CP, Clay CD. A pilot study of store and forward telederma-
tology. Australas. J. Dermatol. 1999; 40: 190–3.) Overall, these studies show that teledermatology has a high accuracy rate between various dermatologist.
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