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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 75  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 32--35

Teledermatology: Clinical case profiles and practical issues


Department of Dermatology, Amrita Institute of Medical sciences, Kochi - 682 026, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Feroze Kaliyadan
Department of Dermatology, Amrita Institute of Medical sciences, Kochi - 682 026, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.45217

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Background and Aims: Teledermatology is an area that has shown rapid growth in the recent past. However, not many studies have been conducted with regards to the application of teledermatology in India. Aim of our study was to evaluate the clinical profiles of cases referred for teledermatology consultation at our center, and to assess and compare the different modalities of teledermatology consultations done at our center along with the practical issues related to such a service. Methods: A retrospective study of teledermatology consultations at our center over a 3-year period was carried out. Store-and-forward (SAF), realtime consults (RTC), and hybrid (combining the two) were included.Two trained dermatologists were involved in carrying out the consultations in the referral center. Results: Of the 120 consultations, 68 male and 52 female patients in the age range of 2-77 years were seen. In more than 90% of the cases, teleconsultation was the first contact for the patient with the dermatologist (for the present condition). In 68% of the cases, the reference was for both diagnosis and management, while in the rest, the reference was mainly related to management issues (appropriate diagnosis having already been made). Certainity of diagnosis was maximum for hybrid, SAF, and RTC. Conclusions: Teledermatology can prove valuable as a tool to provide healthcare in areas of shortage of specialists. A hybrid system combining SAF and RTC could be the ideal form of teledermatology consultations in the future. Many practical issues need to be addressed before the effectiveness of teledermatology in India can be fully recognized.






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