Store-and-forward teledermatology results in similar clinical outcomes to conventional clinic-based care
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.
Available from: Don Husereau
- "The levels of contributions to the wiki in the present study could not be explained by the absence of new evidence, as there were at least 6 articles just on tele-dermatology published between the third week of November of 2006,27-32 when the original search of the literature was performed, and the end of the data collection period in April 2010. It is possible that there was limited interest in the relatively narrow topic area of asynchronous telehealth; however, targeted efforts were made to increase awareness about its existence among hundreds of specialist members of the Canadian Society of Telehealth. "
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ABSTRACT: Systematic reviews are recognized as the most effective means of summarizing research evidence. However, they are limited by the time and effort required to keep them up to date. Wikis present a unique opportunity to facilitate collaboration among many authors. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of a wiki as an online collaborative tool for the updating of a type of systematic review known as a scoping review.
An existing peer-reviewed scoping review on asynchronous telehealth was previously published on an open, publicly available wiki. Log file analysis, user questionnaires and content analysis were used to collect descriptive and evaluative data on the use of the site from 9 June 2009 to 10 April 2010. Blog postings from referring sites were also analyzed.
During the 10-month study period, there were a total of 1222 visits to the site, 3996 page views and 875 unique visitors from around the globe. Five unique visitors (0.6% of the total number of visitors) submitted a total of 6 contributions to the site: 3 contributions were made to the article itself, and 3 to the discussion pages. None of the contributions enhanced the evidence base of the scoping review. The commentary about the project in the blogosphere was positive, tempered with some skepticism.
Despite the fact that wikis provide an easy-to-use, free and powerful means to edit information, fewer than 1% of visitors contributed content to the wiki. These results may be a function of limited interest in the topic area, the review methodology itself, lack of familiarity with the wiki, and the incentive structure of academic publishing. Controversial and timely topics in addition to incentives and organizational support for Web 2.0 impact metrics might motivate greater participation in online collaborative efforts to keep scientific knowledge up to date.
Available from: April Wang Armstrong
- "Teledermatology is the practice of delivering dermatological care via communication technology –. The two primary forms of teledermatology practiced in the United States are live-interactive (LI) and Store-and-Forward (S&F) teledermatology –, and a few programs employ a “hybrid” model, where images captured through digital cameras are used in combination with videoconferencing . "
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ABSTRACT: Despite increasing practice of teledermatology in the U.S., teledermatology practice models and real-world challenges are rarely studied.
The primary objective was to examine teledermatology practice models and shared challenges among teledermatologists in California, focusing on practice operations, reimbursement considerations, barriers to sustainability, and incentives. We conducted in-depth interviews with teledermatologists that practiced store-and-forward or live-interactive teledermatology from January 1, 2007 through March 30, 2011 in California.
Seventeen teledermatologists from academia, private practice, health maintenance organizations, and county settings participated in the study. Among them, 76% practiced store-and-forward only, 6% practiced live-interactive only, and 18% practiced both modalities. Only 29% received structured training in teledermatology. The average number of years practicing teledermatology was 4.29 years (SD±2.81). Approximately 47% of teledermatologists served at least one Federally Qualified Health Center. Over 75% of patients seen via teledermatology were at or below 200% federal poverty level and usually lived in rural regions without dermatologist access. Practice challenges were identified in the following areas. Teledermatologists faced delays in reimbursements and non-reimbursement of teledermatology services. The primary reason for operational inefficiency was poor image quality and/or inadequate history. Costly and inefficient software platforms and lack of communication with referring providers also presented barriers.
Teledermatology enables underserved populations to access specialty care. Improvements in reimbursement mechanisms, efficient technology platforms, communication with referring providers, and teledermatology training are necessary to support sustainable practices.
Available from: April Wang Armstrong
- "Another dermatologist, blinded to the randomization, evaluated the clinical outcomes between baseline data and after four months (Table 3). The results suggest that teledermatology and conventional care result in similar outcomes (Pak et al., 2007). "
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