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Store-and-Forward Teledermatology Applications

University of California, Davis

Dermatologists can serve many more patients — regardless of distance or scheduling — by using store-and-forward teledermatology systems. This paper looks at criteria for evaluating these systems and compares four available applications.

On average, a dermatologist sees up to 36 patients per day in the office. But if that same physician used the Internet to assess images of patients' skin conditions, he or she could review up to 50 cases per day. That is the premise behind store-and-forward (S&F) teledermatology, which enables clinicians to evaluate cases without regard to schedule, appointment time, or clinic location.

In addition to increasing efficiency, the technology is a boon to patients and primary care providers seeking consultation, particularly those in medically underserved or remote areas. Travel time to a dermatologist is eliminated, and there is no waiting.

This CHCF paper by dermatologists and technology experts at the University of California, Davis, summarizes criteria for evaluating store-and-forward applications and compares four major, commercially available programs. It also presents feedback from dermatologists with high case volumes who use the technology.

The complete report is available under Document Downloads.

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