O’Connor DM, et al. JAMA Dermatol. 2017;doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.4280.

November 22, 2017
1 min read

Parent-taken smartphone photographs may have utility in pediatric dermatology


O’Connor DM, et al. JAMA Dermatol. 2017;doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.4280.

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Accurate diagnoses of pediatric dermatologic conditions may be made using photographs taken by parents on smartphones, according to recent findings.

The researchers noted that advances in technology may help improve parent-to-clinician telemedicine experiences, but no formal studies of parent-provided photographs and diagnostic concordance had been undertaken.

The current prospective analysis included 40 patient-parent dyads at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Half of these dyads were randomly assigned to a secondary analysis in which a three-step instruction sheet on taking photographs was provided.

Diagnoses made using the photographs and those during in-person visits were conducted from March 1 to Sept. 30, 2016.

Results showed an overall concordance between the photographic and in-person diagnoses of 83% (95% CI, 71-94; = 0.81). Similarly, an 89% diagnostic concordance rate also was reported in a subgroup of 37 participants with photographs of a high enough quality that the researchers considered a diagnosis was possible.

Concordance rates were 85% for the group that received instructions about photography and 80% for those that did not (P = .68), indicating no statistically significant impact of the instructions, according to the researchers.

Clinicians recommended follow-up in instances of diagnostic disagreement.

Other findings indicated that for the willingness to use photographs for telemedicine visits, on a scale of one to 10, with one being not willing and 10 being very willing, parents scored a median of eight and a mode of 10. Also, parents were willing to pay a median price of $20 to use the application.

“Parent-operated smartphone photography can accurately be used as a method to provide pediatric dermatologic care,” the researchers concluded. – by Rob Volansky

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.