Smartphone Teledermoscopy Referrals: A Novel Process for Improved Triage of Skin Cancer Patients
Alexander Börve, Johan Dahlén Gyllencreutz, Karin Terstappen, Eva Johansson Backman, Anette Aldenbratt, Markus Danielsson, Martin Gillstedt, Carin Sandberg, John Paoli
In this open, controlled, multicentre and prospective observational study, smartphone teledermoscopy referrals were sent from 20 primary healthcare centres to 2 dermatology departments for triage of skin lesions of concern using a smartphone application and a compatible digital dermoscope. The outcome for 816 patients referred via smartphone teledermoscopy was compared with 746 patients referred via the traditional paper-based system. When surgical treatment was required, the waiting time was significantly shorter using teledermoscopy for patients with melanoma, melanoma in situ, squamous cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma in situ and basal cell carcinoma. Triage decisions were also more reliable with teledermoscopy and over 40% of the teledermoscopy patients could potentially have avoided face-to-face visits. Only 4 teledermoscopy referrals (0.4%) had to be excluded due to poor image quality. Smartphone teledermoscopy referrals allow for faster and more efficient management of patients with skin cancer as compared to traditional paper referrals.