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Dermatology Online Journal

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Digital future of dermatology

  • Author(s): Glines, Katelyn R;
  • Haidari, Wasim;
  • Ramani, Leena;
  • Akkurt, Zeynep M;
  • Feldman, Steven R
  • et al.
Abstract

Evolution of technology in the past several decades has undeniably transformed the practice of medicine. Dermatology, a field relying on visual cues, has been particularly impacted by advancement in imaging technologies. The purpose of this study was to review the current status as well as digital future of dermatology. The PubMed database was searched for articles pertaining to digital dermatology using search terms digital dermatology, teledermatology, and dermatopathology education. Digital dermatology has found a role in almost every aspect of dermatology: research, dermatology education and training, and clinical practice including disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and patient follow-up. Smartphone applications such VisualDx, MyDermPath, YouDermoscopy serve as diagnostic aid tools and can also help increase the user's knowledge of dermatology. Tools such as multispectral digital skin lesion analysis (MSDSLA) improve diagnostic accuracy and lead to fewer unnecessary biopsies. Teledermatology increases patient satisfaction, as they are able to experience shorter waits times and decreased costs. Underserved communities and those in rural settings are more likely to have a dermatologic evaluation by a specialist via teledermatology. Addressing important topics such as legal framework and updating reimbursement policies will allow for a smoother incorporation of digital dermatology into clinical practice and likely benefit patient care.

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