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 REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 81  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 136--143

Patient-assisted teledermatology practice: What is it? When, where, and how it is applied?


Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, J. S. S. Medical College Hospital, J. S. S. University, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Garehatty Rudrappa Kanthraj
"Sri Mallikarjuna Nilaya", #Hig33 Group 1 Phase 2,Hootagally KHB Extension, Mysore - 570018, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.152172

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Recent teledermatology practice has been focused on different models made possible by robust advances in information technology leading to consistent interaction between the patient and health care professionals. Patient-assisted teledermatology practice also called patient-enabled teledermatology or home based teledermatology is one such novel model. There is a lack of scientific literature and substantive reviews on patient-assisted teledermatology practice. The present article reviews several studies and surveys on patient-assisted teledermatology practice and outlines its advantages and barriers to clinical utility and analyses the potentiality of this concept. Incorporating patient-assisted teledermatology practice as a novel model in the revised classification of teledermatology practice is proposed. In patient-assisted teledermatology, the patient can upload his/her clinical images as a first contact with the dermatologist or an initial face-to-face examination can be followed by teledermatology consultations. The latter method is well suited to chronic diseases such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and leg ulcers, which may need frequent follow-up entailing significant costs and time, particularly in the elderly. Teledermatology may also be used by the treating dermatologist to seek expert opinion for difficult cases. Studies have demonstrated the importance and usability of the concept of patient-assisted teledermatology practice. Various teledermatology care models are available and the appropriate model should be chosen depending on whether the clinical situation is that of easily diagnosed cases ("spotters"), chronic cases or doubtful cases and difficult-to-manage cases.






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