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J Telemed Telecare. 2008;14(5):271-4. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2008.080303.

Use of mobile phone cameras for after-hours triage in primary care.

Author information

1
East Tamaki Health Care, Auckland, New Zealand.

Abstract

Mobile phone images might be useful in after-hours triage of primary care. We conducted a study to identify population access to mobile phone cameras and to assess the clinical usefulness of mobile phone cameras. The survey was conducted among 480 patients attending two rural New Zealand practices. There were significantly more Maori owners compared to non-Maori (P = 0.002). Age was a significant factor influencing the ownership of mobile phones. We also conducted a clinical quiz among health professionals to assess how the provision of images on a mobile phone and on CD-ROM (to simulate the image that would be seen if email was used to transmit the images) influenced diagnostic confidence. Ten photographable clinical conditions were used to quiz 30 health professionals who were randomized into three groups of 10 each on diagnostic confidence. Images were found to significantly increase diagnostic confidence in all cases except one. It appears that mobile phone cameras are generally acceptable to patients and likely to be of practical use to rural practitioners in a range of clinical scenarios.

PMID:
18633004
DOI:
10.1258/jtt.2008.080303
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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