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J Telemed Telecare. 2010;16(8):447-53. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2010.091205. Epub 2010 Oct 4.

A pilot study on tertiary teledermatology: feasibility and acceptance of telecommunication among dermatologists.

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Department of Dermatology, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Tertiary teledermatology (TTD), where a general dermatologist consults a specialized dermatologist on difficult cases, is a relatively new telemedicine service. We evaluated TTD in a Dutch university hospital, where 13 general dermatologists used TTD to consult 11 specialized dermatologists and two residents at the university medical centre. We measured the avoided referrals to the university centre, the usability of the system and the user acceptance of it. During a three-month study, general dermatologists consulted via TTD 28 times. In 17 of the consultations (61%), the general dermatologists would have referred their patients to the university centre if teledermatology had not been available. Referral was not necessary after teledermatology for 12 of these 17 consultations (71%). The mean usability score (0-100) of all the users was 80. All dermatologists were satisfied with TTD (mean satisfaction of 7.6 on a 10-point scale) and acceptance was high. The baseline measurements showed that half of tertiary referrals were suitable for TTD. These results suggest that TTD reduces unnecessary physical referrals and that users are satisfied with it. A large-scale evaluation is now required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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