Teledermoscopy in High-risk Melanoma Patients: A Comparative Study of Face-to-face and Teledermatology Visits
Edith Arzberger, Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, Andreas Blum , Dmitry Chubisov, Amanda Oakley, Marius Rademaker, Hans Soyer, Rainer Hofmann-Wellenhof
Teledermoscopy is considered a reliable tool for the evaluation of pigmented skin lesions. We compared the management decision in face-to-face visits vs. teledermatology in a high-risk melanoma cohort using total-body photography, macroscopic and dermoscopic images of single lesions. Patients were assessed both face-to face and by 4 remote teledermatologists. Lesions identified as suspicious for skin cancer by face-to-face evaluation underwent surgical excision. The teledermatologists recommended “self-monitoring”, “short-term monitoring”, or “excision”. A 4-year monitoring was completed in a cohort of participating subjects. The general agreement, calculated by prevalence and bias-adjusted κ (PABAK), showed almost perfect agreement (PABAK 0.9–0.982). A total of 23 lesions were excised; all teledermatologists identified the 9 melanomas. The greatest discrepancy was detected in “short-term monitoring”. During 4-year monitoring one melanoma was excised that had been considered benign. In conclusion, melanoma identification by experts in pigmented lesions appears to be equivalent between face-to-face and teledermatological consultation.