Teledermatology is the provision of dermatology services at a distance, using technology; it improves the efficiency of high-quality care by moving patient information instead of the patient themselves. Teledermatology is now an accepted part of many public health systems ; it has also proven useful for medical staff on commercial ships and military personnel on deployment .
Due to the highly visual nature of dermoscopy, teledermoscopy in particular is a valuable resource for doctors and their patients, particularly in rural and remote areas where it is difficult to arrange face-to-face consultations with specialists. A teleconsultant can reply with provisional and differential diagnoses and a course of action, typically within 24 hours and without time zone difference constraints. Patients report high satisfaction with teledermatology, citing improved privacy and comfort and reduced waiting times .
Another major use of teledermatology is allowing primary care providers to appropriately triage patients who may need a face-to-face appointment with a specialist dermatologist. Teledermatology and dermoscopy can be more effective than traditional paper referrals in getting high-priority patients seen quickly , while also reducing unnecessary referrals to dermatologists .
Some studies assessing skin cancer have shown that diagnostic accuracy using teledermatology is comparable to face-to-face consultations, while others put teledermatology’s accuracy somewhat lower ; however, as for face-to-face consultations, adding dermoscopic images to a telemedicine consultation improves diagnostic accuracy considerably Diagnostic accuracy is also less dependent on the quality of the image than on the level of diagnostic difficulty of the lesion and the expertise of the observer .
Mobile teledermoscopy involves using a magnifying lens with a polarised light that attaches to a mobile phone, allowing medical staff or patients to take dermoscopic-quality images with their smartphone. Images are then stored and forwarded to an expert dermatologist with an app. Mobile teledermoscopy may be particularly useful as an aid to skin self-examination for melanoma: such aids have been shown to improve the frequency and sensitivity of skin self-examinations .
Pilot study participants have reported that mobile teledermoscopy is easy to perform  and motivates them to monitor their skin more often ; however, barriers to effective use include having many pigmented lesions, not having a partner to assist in imaging lesions on hard-to-reach places, or inadequate education about which lesions require attention.
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