Introduction: Teledermatology is a tool that is being used in many parts of the world to help provide dermatological expertise in the diagnosis and management of skin conditions for people who lack access to specialist services. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of teledermatology store-and-forward e-triage in diagnosing and treating patients of the NHS in the United Kingdom when compared to the standard outpatient face-to-face consultation.
Methods: After obtaining consent to join the study our research nurse photographed the patients and took a short history before they were assessed by our consultant dermatologist in a face-to-face consultation who would provide a diagnosis and treatment plan on the day. The same consultant dermatologist would then assess the pictures and history taken by our research nurse and provide a diagnosis and treatment plan for the same patient at a later date. 46 skin complaints in 44 patients were assessed after the 3 months and the diagnoses and management plans of the 2 different methods were compared.
Conclusion: The results showed a high diagnostic correlation of 82% (38/46 cases) and a higher management plan accuracy of 85% (39/44 cases). These promising results have demonstrated that teledermatology store-and-forward e-triage can be an important but relatively accurate tool in providing skin specialist services for patients and areas where these services are scarce if provided.