Teledermatology: A Review and Update.
Telemedicine is slowly transforming the way in which healthcare is delivered and has the potential to improve access to subspecialty expertise, reduce healthcare costs, and improve the overall quality of care. While many subspecialty fields within medicine today have either experimented with or begun to implement telemedicine platforms to enable remote consultation and care, dermatology is particularly suited for this care system as skin disorders are uniquely visible to the human eye. Through teledermatology, diagnostic images of skin disorders with accompanying clinical histories can be remotely reviewed by teledermatologists by any number of modalities, such as photographic clinical images or live video teleconferencing. Diagnoses and treatment recommendations can then be rendered and implemented remotely. The evidence to date supports both its diagnostic and treatment accuracy and its cost effectiveness. Administrative, regulatory, privacy, and reimbursement policies surrounding this dynamic field continue to evolve. In this review, we examine the history, evidence, and administrative landscape surrounding teledermatology and discuss current practice guidelines and ongoing controversies.