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Implementation of Teledermatology in Alberta, Canada: A Report of One Thousand Cases

HumanInsight Implementation of Teledermatology in Alberta, Canada: A Report of One Thousand Cases

J Cutan Med Surg. 2022 Jul 8:12034754221108990. doi: 10.1177/12034754221108990. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Teledermatology utilizes photoimaging and background information to allow dermatologists to remotely provide a diagnosis to practitioners. ConsultDerm is an asynchronous, web-based teledermatology software that allows practitioners to submit their electronic referrals for assessment by board-certified dermatologists.

OBJECTIVE: Our study aimed to retrospectively analyze teledermatology's utilization in Canada by using the teledermatology platform ConsultDerm.

METHODS: After implementing inclusion criteria, 1000 patients were selected, and relevant demographic and clinical information were extracted for data analysis. In addition, an online survey with pre-formulated questions was distributed to 7 dermatologists currently using the ConsultDerm platform to determine their experience in utilizing teledermatology.

RESULTS: Of the 1000 patients, 66.5% had not received treatment prior to their teledermatology referral, and on average, patients experienced symptoms for 489.5 days prior to their referral. Diagnoses made were categorized by conditions, most common being dermatitis (37.1%), followed by acneiform conditions (10.6%), benign lesions/neoplasms (12.1%), infections (9.4%), and dyspigmentation (3.1%). Most consults originated from small population centers, and the referring practitioners were predominantly family physicians. Dermatologists utilizing the platform expressed ease of use, however, areas of improvement were identified such as increasing the quality of imaging and more detailed patient history.

CONCLUSION: Through our analysis of 1000 cases, we identified how a teledermatology consultation could be used to assess a wide variety of cutaneous conditions, improving access for patients who may face barriers to seeing a dermatologist.

PMID:35801350 | DOI:10.1177/12034754221108990

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