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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 77  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 276--287

Newer insights in teledermatology practice

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreshwara University Medical College Hospital, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Mysore - 570 004, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Garehatty Rudrappa Kanthraj
Sri Mallikarjuna Nilaya, HIG 33, Group 1, Phase 2, Hootagally KHB Extension, Mysore - 570 018, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.79696

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The study and practice of dermatology care using interactive audio, visual, and data communications from a distance is called teledermatology. A teledermatology practice (TP) provides teleconsultation as well tele-education. Initially, dermatologists used videoconference. Convenience, cost-effectiveness and easy application of the practice made "store and forward" to emerge as a basic teledermatology tool. The advent of newer technologies like third generation (3G) and fourth generation (4G) mobile teledermatology (MT) and dermatologists' interest to adopt tertiary TP to pool expert (second) opinion to address difficult-to-manage cases (DMCs) has resulted in a rapid change in TP. Online discussion groups (ODGs), author-based second opinion teledermatology (AST), or a combination of both are the types of tertiary TP. This article analyzes the feasibility studies and provides latest insight into TP with a revised classification to plan and allocate budget and apply appropriate technology. Using the acronym CAP-HAT, which represents five important factors like case, approach, purpose, health care professionals, and technology, one can frame a TP. Store-and-forward teledermatology (SAFT) is used to address routine cases (spotters). Chronic cases need frequent follow-up care. Leg ulcer and localized vitiligo need MT while psoriasis and leprosy require SAFT. Pigmented skin lesions require MT for triage and combination of teledermoscopy, telepathology, and teledermatology for diagnosis. A self-practising dermatologist and national health care system dermatologist use SAFT for routine cases and a combination of ASTwith an ODG to address a DMC. A TP alone or in combination with face-to-face consultation delivers quality care.


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Online since 15th March '04
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