Skin Selfies Help Dermatologists Diagnose From Afar
Teledermatology is a new medical field where people send their doctors photos of their skin to receive a diagnosis.
Panic over that mole that seems to have miraculously grown overnight may be soon be assuaged as quick as you can take a selfie. A new University of Pennsylvania study published in the journal JAMA Dermatology shows that teledermatology – remote diagnosis via an app – resulted in almost the same diagnosis as if the user had come in to a hospital to see a doctor in person.
People with skin concerns could take a picture of the particular problem, send it into their doctor and receive a quick diagnosis as to whether or not they need to go to a hospital for further action, like a biopsy. The study took 50 hospital patients and had them seen by a dermatologist as well as send a picture to two other independent dermatologists.
It was found that 95% of the teledermatologists recommended a biopsy in the same case as a regular dermatologist, and the doctors completely agreed on the diagnosis 88% of the time. Senior study author Misha Rosenbach, MD, assistant professor of Dermatology and director of the Dermatology inpatient dermatology service at Penn Medicine said:
Teledermatology may help optimize time spent by dermatologists in the inpatient setting by potentially reducing or eliminating trips to the hospital, and allowing some dermatologists to batch consultations or schedule non-urgent inpatients to be seen after discharge for outpatient appointments. A substantial agreement between in-person and teledermatology consultants in this study demonstrates the reliability and potential of this platform.
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