Remote dermatology consultations could help improve treatment and lead to more positive outcomes, according to a study published in the American Medical Association's Archives of Dermatology, Modern Healthcare reports.
HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded the study.
For the study, researchers examined the records of 1,490 patients who had live, interactive telemedicine consults with dermatologists at the University of California-Davis between 2003 and 2005.
Researchers then compared the referring physician's and the teledermatologist's diagnoses and treatment recommendations (Robeznieks, Modern Healthcare, 1/16).
According to the study, almost 70% of diagnoses from referring physicians were changed following the teledermatology visit.
The study also found that nearly 98% of patients' disease management plans were adjusted following the teledermatology consult.
The remote consults resulted in clinical improvement for 68.7% of patients who had two or more visits in a year, according to the study (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 1/17).
The researchers concluded that long-term benefits of teledermatology visits could include:
- Reduced costs from additional medications or visits; and
- Improvement at the primary care level because of more familiarity with dermatological diagnoses and treatment regimens (Modern Healthcare, 1/16).