A study, published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Archives of Dermatology and funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, showed that dermatology patients who received teledermatology consultations had positive results.
Sonia Lamel, MD; Cindy J. Chambers, MD, MPH; Mondhipa Ratnarathorn, MD; April W. Armstrong, MD, MPH performed a study to find out the influence of live interactive teledermatology consultations on changes in diagnosis, disease management, and clinical outcomes.
The retrospective analysis included 1,500 patients who underwent, at least two times in a year, live interactive teledermatology between 2003 and 2005 at the University of California, Davis. Medical records, diagnosis, treatment and outcome, between referring physicians, general practitioners, and teledermatologists were compared.
In 69.9% of patients the diagnoses from referring physicians were changed after the live interactive teledermatology consultation and changes in disease management occurred in 97.7% of patients.
Also, the medical scientists found 68.7 % clinical improvements in 313 persons who had minimum two teledermatology visits within one year.
“Multivariate analysis showed that changes in diagnosis, changes in disease management and the number of teledermatology visits were significantly associated with improved clinical outcomes,” the authors of the study wrote.
Unfortunately, the severity and the type of dermatological conditions were not specified.
Besides from this study on teledermatology, there was other study that emphasized the benefits of telehealth.
The Whole System Demonstrator program in UK showed in December that remote monitoring reduced mortality rates by 45 percent. Telemedicine also have decreased emergency visits by 15%, emergency admissions by 20% and bed days or hospitalization period by 14 percent.
“Busy tech-savvy patient will want more user-friendly access to healthcare and will be far more likely to use technical solutions to aid in this convenience,” Mark Probst (Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City) told Hospital & Health Networks.
According to him, telehealth, telemedicine, or teledermatology is becoming “competitive requirement.”