Can a Correct Diagnosis Be Established Using the Teledermatology Method?

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Teledermatology is a remote method of diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of the patient with visual communication technologies. It has been a research subject for many years, but its reliability has not been fully explained. With the emergence of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic in 2019, the need for teledermatology increased.This study aimed to evaluate the reliability of teledermatology. Material and Method: A total of 595 lesions of 546 patients who visited the dermatology outpatient clinic were included in the study. Two physicians evaluated the patients, one face-to-face and the other via multimedia messaging, and the diagnoses were compared with each other. Diagnoses were in total agreement if the first diagnoses were the same, in partial agreement if the second and third diagnoses were the same, and in no agreement if all diagnoses differed. The first diagnoses of Physicians 1 and 2 matched in 468 (total agreement rate: 76.8%) patients, and the second and third diagnoses matched in 44 and 8 patients, respectively (partial agreement rate: 8.7%). There was no agreement in the diagnoses of 75 patients (12.7%). In total, an agreement was reached in 520 patients (87.3%). Common diseases in dermatology practice, such as papulopustular and urticarial lesions, nails and hair diseases, infectious diseases, erythematous squamous diseases, those with pruritus, and skin malignancies, were diagnosed teledermatologically at a high rate of accuracy. In contrast, eczematous diseases, premalignant lesions, and other groups of diseases were less accurately diagnosed. In the last year, the importance of teledermatology has greatly increased with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study shows that the store and forward (asynchronous) method of teledermatology can diagnose dermatological diseases with a high rate of accuracy.
TAŞLIDERE N., SU KÜÇÜK Ö., -Can a Correct Diagnosis Be Established Using the Teledermatology Method?-, ACTA DERMATOVENEROLOGICA CROATICA, cilt.30, sa.1, ss.32-39, 2022
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