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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2008 June;143(3):213-8


language: English


Massone C., Wurm E. M. T., Soyer H. P.

Research Unit of Teledermatology and Research Unit of Dermatopathology Department of Dermatology Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria


Dermatology is perhaps the most visual specialty in medicine, making it ideally suited for modern telemedicine techniques, as has been shown in a number of recent studies investigating feasibility and reliability of teledermatology. It has generally demonstrated high levels of concordance in diagnosis and management plans compared with face-to-face consultations. Teledermatology has been also used for various purposes, including triage, diagnostic and management services, and second opinion services for primary care practitioners. It has been set up in a number of ways: 1) direct referral for primary care using images and clinical history sent to secondary care dermatology services for second opinion and for triage referrals; and 2) facilitating community-based clinics led by nurses or general practitioners. Moreover, in the last years new fields in teledermatology have grown up. Teledermoscopy is a promising area for melanoma screening as well as for diagnosis and management of equivocal pigmented skin lesions. The feasibility of mobile teledermatology and mobile teledermoscopy has been recently proved and these new facilities have the potential to become an easy applicable tool for everyone and may open the door for a new flexible triage system for detection of skin cancer in general and melanoma in particular. The implementation of virtual slide systems for teledermatopathology has allowed avoiding the limitations imposed by conventional photographs. Finally, web consultations in dermatology are a rather new tool that became available in the last years and teledermatologic services through the Internet offer many possibilities, including continuing medical education, on-line atlases and databases, and specific web application suited for teledermatology (i.e. www.telederm.org).

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