Diagnostic accuracy of teledermatology: results of a preliminary study in New Zealand

N Z Med J. 1997 Feb 28;110(1038):51-3.


Aim: To determine the accuracy of a video conferencing system (telemedicine) in diagnosis of dermatological disorders.

Methods: New patients referred to a dermatology clinic were initially examined by telemedicine and then by a standard face to face consultation. The diagnoses made by each type of consultation were compared and accuracy of telemedicine determined.

Results: One hundred and four patients with 135 dermatological conditions were analysed. Seventy five percent of conditions were correctly diagnosed by telemedicine. In a further 7% a differential diagnosis was made, which included the final diagnosis made face to face. In 12%, the diagnosis was incorrect using the telemedicine system, and in 3% no diagnosis was made. Four per cent of diagnoses were only made when the patient was seen face to face.

Conclusion: This preliminary study suggests that video conferencing equipment can be used with a reasonable degree of accuracy for the diagnosis of dermatological disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Eczema / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratosis / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nevus / diagnosis
  • New Zealand
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physical Examination
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Remote Consultation* / instrumentation
  • Remote Consultation* / methods
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Software
  • Video Recording