Diagnosis of Skin Lesions Using Photographs Taken With a Mobile Phone: An Online Survey of Primary Care Physicians

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Skin conditions are one of the most frequent reasons for visiting a primary health care facility, making it of vital importance that general practitioners (GPs) have the right knowledge and tools to diagnose the most frequent dermatological conditions. Methods: This study evaluates the accuracy of dermatological diagnoses made by 120 GPs based on photographs taken with a smartphone by an anonymous online cross-sectional survey. Results: The study was carried out between August and October 2018. The results show that the majority of the participants are in favor of using mobile phones to communicate with other professionals and use them to consult medical images. The majority (69%) took dermatological photographs and the preferred device was a smartphone (70%). From 22 different images evaluated, in 69% of responses, participants expressed a high degree of confidence in their ability to diagnose the lesion shown and in 72% of the cases, the diagnosis chosen was correct. Conclusions: The study confirms that the use of smartphone to send medical images is growing rapidly and its potential for taking medical images is an opportunity to help primary care teams deal with dermatological problems. The results suggest that GPs need further training in interpreting dermatological images, to increase their diagnostic confidence and to avoid the need for referrals to face-to-face visits.




Marin-Gomez, F. X., Vidal-Alaball, J., Poch, P. R., Sariola, C. J., Ferrer, R. T., & Peña, J. M. (2020). Diagnosis of Skin Lesions Using Photographs Taken With a Mobile Phone: An Online Survey of Primary Care Physicians. Journal of Primary Care and Community Health, 11. https://doi.org/10.1177/2150132720937831

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