The clinical utility of teledermoscopy in the era of telemedicine

Shelley K. Uppal, Jacob Beer, Edward Hadeler, Howard Gitlow, Keyvan Nouri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Teledermoscopy is a novel diagnostic tool for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of skin disease when direct visualization of lesions is difficult. It is an economically viable option that can complement telehealth visits and that providers can utilize to identify melanocytic lesions and optimize care with diagnostic accuracy comparable to face-to-face (FTF) diagnosis. Teledermoscopy is invaluable in monitoring chronic conditions that require frequent follow-up and treatment optimization. Inclusion of clinical and dermoscopic images has been shown to improve the diagnostic accuracy of teledermatology services, thereby reducing healthcare costs. Teledermoscopy is also non-discriminatory, as diagnostic accuracy is similar in lighter and darker skin types. It has been shown to improve patient access to specialty services and reduce the number of “no-shows” at FTF clinics and length of surgery waiting times. Mobile teledermoscopy is user-friendly, feasible, and economically viable, as inexpensive mobile dermatoscopes have emerged on the market to reduce consumer out-of-pocket costs. Research is limited on teledermoscopy's utility in diagnosing pre-cancerous and cancerous skin lesions in adults, particularly complex pigmented lesions. Further research is recommended to investigate the role of dermoscopic expertise and artificial intelligence on the evaluation of teledermoscopic images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14766
JournalDermatologic Therapy
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Keywords

  • dermoscopy
  • teledermatology
  • teledermoscopy
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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