Teledermatology consultation using a smartphone multimedia messaging service for common skin diseases in the Korean army: a clinical evaluation of its diagnostic accuracy

J Telemed Telecare. 2014 Mar;20(2):70-4. doi: 10.1177/1357633X14524151. Epub 2014 Feb 10.


We evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of teleconsultations for skin diseases common in the army using a smartphone multimedia messaging service (MMS). Images of skin lesions were obtained from 100 army patients using digital cameras built into smartphones. Three remotely located dermatologists received the dermatology images and associated clinical information via the MMS. The teledermatologists' diagnoses were compared with those obtained from face-to-face examinations. The three most common diagnoses made at the dermatology clinics were eczema, viral warts and fungal infections. The mean diagnostic agreement between face-to-face and teledermatology consultations was 71% (SD 2). The mean kappa coefficient was 0.73 (SD 0.06) for the three most common diagnostic categories. The mean values for sensitivity were 78% (SD 0), 88% (SD 21) and 61% (SD 11) for eczema, viral warts and fungal infections, respectively, and the specificity values were above 90% for these skin diseases. Teledermatology consultation using smartphones is simple. Although diagnoses using telemedicine do not perfectly match diagnoses from face-to-face consultations the diagnostic accuracy using smartphones is superior to that of clinicians who are not specialized in dermatology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cell Phone*
  • Dermatomycoses / diagnosis
  • Eczema / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Medicine / methods*
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Warts / diagnosis