A pilot trial of mobile, patient-performed teledermoscopy

Manahan, M.N., Soyer, H.P., Loescher, L.J., Horsham, C., Vagenas, D., Whiteman, D.C., Olsen, C.M., & Janda, M. (2015) A pilot trial of mobile, patient-performed teledermoscopy. British Journal of Dermatology, 172(4), pp. 1072-1080.

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Early detection by skin self-examination (SSE) could improve outcomes from melanoma. Mobile teledermoscopy may aid this process.


To establish clinical accuracy of SSE plus mobile teledermoscopy compared to clinical skin examination (CSE) and test whether providing people with detailed SSE instructions improves accuracy.


Men and women 50-64 years (n=58) performed SSE plus mobile teledermoscopy in their homes between May and November 2013 and were given technical instructions plus detailed SSE instructions (intervention) or technical instructions only (control). Within three months, they underwent a CSE. Outcome measures included:

a) body sites examined, lesions photographed, and missed;

b) sensitivityof SSE plus mobile teledermoscopy compared to in-person CSE using either patients or lesions as denominator, and;

c) concordance of telediagnosis with CSE. RESULTS: 49 of 58 randomised participants completed the study, and submitted 309 lesions to the teledermatologist (156 intervention; 153 control group).

Intervention group participants were more likely to submit lesions from their legs compared to control (p=0.03), no other differences between groups in number or site of missed lesions.11 participants (22%) did not photograph 14 pigmented lesions the dermatologist considered worthwhile photographing or requiring clinical monitoring. Sensitivity of SSE plus mobile teledermoscopy was 81.8% (95% confidence interval 64.5-93.0) using the patient as the denominator and 41.9 (27.6-56.2) using the lesion as denominator.-There was substantial agreement between telediagnosis and CSE (Kappa =0.90) accounting for differential diagnoses.


SSE plus mobile teledermoscopy is promising for surveillance of particular lesions even without provision of detailed SSE instructions, but in the format tested in this study, consumers may overlook lesions and send many non-pigmented lesions. This investigation demonstrates that high quality dermoscopic images can be taken by patients at home and for those sent, telediagnosis is highly accurate.

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ID Code: 78938
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: skin cancer, self-examination, melanoma, teledermatology, cellular phone
DOI: 10.1111/bjd.13550
ISSN: 0007-0963
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 British Association of Dermatologists
Deposited On: 27 Nov 2014 01:50
Last Modified: 07 May 2016 04:09

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