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 dermoscopyThe examination of [skin lesions] with a 'dermatoscope'. This traditionally consists of a magnifier (typically x10), a non-polarised light source, a transparent plate and a liquid medium between the instrument and the skin, and allows inspection of skin lesions unobstructed by skin surface reflections. Modern dermatoscopes dispense with the use of liquid medium and instead use polarised light to cancel out skin surface reflections., teledermoscopyThis glossary term has not yet been described. in particular is a valuable resource for doctors and their patients, particularly in rural and remote areas where it is difficultneeding much effort or skill to accomplish to arrange faceis a central body region of sense and is also very central in the expression of emotion among humans and among numerous other species.-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 cancerThis glossary term has not yet been described. have shown that diagnostic accuracyThis glossary term has not yet been described. using teledermatology is comparable to face-to-face consultations, while othersThis glossary term has not yet been described.This glossary term has not yet been described. put teledermatology’s accuracy somewhat lower ; however, as for face-to-face consultations, adding dermoscopic imagesA representation of a person, animal or thing, photographed, painted or otherwise made visible. to a telemedicine consultation improves diagnostic accuracy considerably Diagnostic accuracyThis glossary term has not yet been described. 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 teledermoscopyThis glossary term has not yet been described. 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 smartphoneThis glossary term has not yet been described.. ImagesA representation of a person, animal or thing, photographed, painted or otherwise made visible. 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 melanomaThis glossary term has not yet been described.: such aids have been shown to improve the frequency and sensitivityThis glossary term has not yet been described. 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.
ReferencesThis is material contained in a footnote or bibliography holding further information.
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