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N Z Med J. 1997 Feb 28;110(1038):51-3.

Diagnostic accuracy of teledermatology: results of a preliminary study in New Zealand.

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Department of Dermatology, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand.



To determine the accuracy of a video conferencing system (telemedicine) in diagnosis of dermatological disorders.


New patients referred to a dermatology clinic were initially examined by telemedicine and then by a standard face to face consultation. The diagnoses made by each type of consultation were compared and accuracy of telemedicine determined.


One hundred and four patients with 135 dermatological conditions were analysed. Seventy five percent of conditions were correctly diagnosed by telemedicine. In a further 7% a differential diagnosis was made, which included the final diagnosis made face to face. In 12%, the diagnosis was incorrect using the telemedicine system, and in 3% no diagnosis was made. Four per cent of diagnoses were only made when the patient was seen face to face.


This preliminary study suggests that video conferencing equipment can be used with a reasonable degree of accuracy for the diagnosis of dermatological disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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