Teledermatology ‘improves clinical outcomes’

Live interactive teledermatology visits can significantly improve clinical outcomes, according to research published in the Archives of Dermatology.
Researchers from the University of California, led by Sonia Lamel, conducted a retrospective analysis of 1500 patients evaluated via live interactive teledermatology between 2003 and 2005, comparing diagnoses and treatment plans between referring physicians and teledermatologists. 
"Compared with diagnoses and treatment plans from referring physicians, the 1500 live interactive teledermatology consultations resulted in changes in diagnosis in 69.9% of patients and changes in disease management in 97.7% of patients," noted Lamel et al. 
"Among 313 patients with at least two teledermatology visits within one year, clinical improvement was observed in 68.7% of patients. Multivariate analysis showed that changes in diagnosis (P = .01), changes in disease management (P < .001) and the number of teledermatology visits (P < .001) were significantly associated with improved clinical outcomes."