Teledermatology is a subspecialty in the medical field of dermatology, and is one of the most common and effective applications of telemedicine and e-health. The focus is exactly what you would imagine. Itilizing telecommunication technologies to exchange medical information (specifically skin conditions) through audio and visual interfaces. With the development of technologies such as 4K imaging to high-clarity ultrasound (and general improvement in real time communication) the potential for telemedicine is greater than ever.

Progression of Telemedicine

Teledermatology was coined in 1995 by Perednia and Brown with a focus on using technology to utilize the expertise of dermatologists in areas where there were very few to be found.
Today, however, we are able to use that technology not only to assist those with in areas with limited resources, but to expedite appointments and results in a more convenient manner. While it is impossible to guarantee a 100% accuracy rate remotely, (even locally, a clinical diagnosis is NEVER 100% accurate), teledermatology has been shown to be comparable to in-person diagnoses with rates ranging from 70-90% concordance.

In the Emergency Room

This technology has recently made its way into the emergency room. According to a study conducted at the Princess Alexandra Hospital between August 2008 and August 2009, Emergency Doctors and dermatologists were able to diagnose emergency dermatological cases using teledermatolgy with a diagnostic concordance of 98% compared to a follow up visit with a dermatologist. The system used is a combination of Store & forward (SAF) and real time/live interactive teledermatology.

With new advances in technology, the ER of the future may not even require a full staff. Hospitals may outsource to offsite specialists. We are only beginning to see how telemedicine can change the field of healthcare – expect more groundbreaking changes as communication systems and security become faster and more efficient. Soon you’ll have a whole clinic on your phone.

1 (415) 234-4124
Get Checked