What Type of Dermatological Conditions Is Telemedicine the Most Helpful In?
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The concept of telemedicine started with the birth of telecommunications technology, the means of sending information over a distance in the form of electromagnetic signals.
Given that dermatology is a uniquely visual medical specialty, it is particularly suited for telemedical diagnosis and consultation. Two forms of technology are primarily deployed in teledermatology 3: i) store‐and‐forward (SAF) technology where clinical images and additional information are assessed at a different time and location (asynchronous communication method), and ii) video conferencing which is characterized by simultaneous image‐based diagnosis and consultation. Teledermatology consultations can take place between physicians from different specialties (teleconsult) or directly with patients (teleconsultation). A recent systematic review showed that teledermatology has been used in a wide variety of dermatological diagnoses, with a particular focus on the diagnosis of skin cancer. The majority of studies originate from countries with an unequally distributed density of dermatologists and large geographical distances, such as the USA, or countries with a low density of specialists, such as the United Kingdom.
As a result, global and concerted advocacy on the benefits and the appropriate use of telemedicine would help address fears or resistance towards technology use and accelerate its adoption among health professionals and patients alike.
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