Concordance and Time Estimation of Store-and-forward Mobile Teledermatology Compared to Classical Face-to-face Consultation
Niccolò Nami, Cesare Massone, Pietro Rubegni, Gabriele Cevenini, Michele Fimiani, Rainer Hofmann-Wellenhof
Smartphones have overcome the limitations of image quality seen in older devices and opened a new field of telemedicine called “mobile teledermatology”. Technological advances and the need to reduce health service costs will strongly promote the development of telemedicine. For this reason, we evaluated the concordance between store-and-forward mobile teledermatology and the classical face-to-face dermatological visit. We also measured the time taken to submit a teleconsultation using a smartphone. Before conventional face-to-face visit, a final-year resident of the three-year course for general practitioners collected medical history, took digital images of skin diseases with a smartphone and, measuring the time required to complete this operation, transmitted them to an expert teledermatologist. In 391 patients we obtained a concordance between face-to-face and store-and-forward diagnosis of 91.05% (Cohen κ coefficient = 0.906). On average only few minutes needs to be added to a normal visit to transmit the cases to an expert teledermatologist.