Overview of international teledermatology

  • B Desai
  • K McKoy
  • C Kovarik

Abstract

Teledermatology is essentially “dermatology at a distance”, using one of many communication technologies to expand the reach of a dermatologist to those in need of their specialized knowledge. Most international teledermatology is store-and-forward in nature, a method in which images are stored on a computer and then transmitted electronically to a consulting dermatologist. This system is more convenient and less costly than realtime teledermatology. This review will focus on several of the store-and-forward teledermatology systems being developed and utilized successfully internationally. This discussion of “who” is practicing teledermatology is not comprehensive, but attempts to show some of the breadth of teledermatology practice around the world, including government national health plans, commercial endeavors, and charitable work by individuals and institutions. The goal in many instances is to provide better health outcomes through increased access, efficiency, and/or costeffectiveness. More studies ultimately need to be conducted to develop a more comprehensive and sustainable model for teledermatology.
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eISSN: 1937-8688