Store-and-forward teledermatology results in similar clinical outcomes to conventional clinic-based care.

Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA.
Journal of telemedicine and telecare (Impact Factor: 0.92). 02/2007; 13(1):26-30. DOI: 10.1258/135763307779701185
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We compared the clinical outcomes after store-and-forward teledermatology with those following conventional clinic-based consultation. Subjects were randomized to either usual care (a conventional clinic-based dermatology appointment) or a store-and-forward teledermatology consultation. All subjects received baseline digital imaging and re-imaging was performed four months later. A total of 776 subjects were approached for inclusion, and a total of 508 image sets were reviewed, 236 in usual care and 272 in teledermatology. The image sets from both study arms were used to make clinical outcome assessments between baseline and four months. A dermatologist who was blinded to the randomization rated the clinical outcomes using a three-point clinical course rating scale (1 = improved, 2 = no change, 3 = worse). In the usual care group, 65% were rated as 'improved', 32% were rated as 'no change' and 3% were rated as 'worse'. For teledermatology, 64% were rated as 'improved', 33% as 'no change' and 4% as 'worse'. The results of the study indicate that store-and-forward teledermatology consultations produce similar clinical outcomes when compared with conventional clinic-based consultations.

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    ABSTRACT: Telemedicine is increasingly being used as part of routine practice for many physicians and healthcare providers across the country. Due to its visual nature, dermatology is ideally suited to benefit from this new technology. The use of teledermatology (telemedicine in dermatology) in a primary care setting allows for an expert opinion without the need for an in-person referral. Furthermore, it can improve patient access in remote areas. Store-and-forward teledermatology is the most commonly employed method.
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