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Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2008 Mar;27(1):101-5. doi: 10.1016/j.sder.2007.12.002.

Teledermatology: an update.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Research Unit of Teledermatology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.


Dermatology is perhaps the most visual specialty in medicine, making it ideally suited for modern telemedicine techniques, as has been shown in a number of recent studies investigating feasibility and reliability of teledermatology. It has generally demonstrated high levels of concordance in diagnosis and management plans compared with face-to-face consultations. Teledermatology also has been used for various purposes, including triage, diagnostic and management services, and second-opinion services for primary care practitioners. It has been set up in a number of ways: (1) direct referral for primary care using images and clinical history sent to secondary care dermatology services for second opinion and for triage referrals and (2) facilitating community-based clinics led by nurses or general practitioners. Moreover, in the last years new fields in teledermatology have grown up. Teledermoscopy is a promising area for melanoma screening as well as for the diagnosis and management of equivocal pigmented skin lesions. The feasibility of mobile teledermatology and mobile teledermoscopy recently has been proven, and these new facilities have the potential to become an easy applicable tool for everyone and may open the door for a new flexible triage system for detection of skin cancer in general and melanoma in particular. The implementation of virtual slide systems for teledermatopathology has allowed avoiding the limitations imposed by conventional microphotography. Finally, web consultations in dermatology are a rather new tool that became available in the last years and teledermatologic services through the Internet offer many possibilities, including continuing medical education, on-line atlases and databases, and specific web application suited for teledermatology (ie, www.telederm.org).

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