Researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have revealed results of the largest study to date comparing the clinical outcomes resulting from triage through either teledermoscopy or traditional letter referral systems in a real-life clinical scenario. Published in the journal Acta Dermato-Venereologica, the findings indicate that smartphone referrals via iDoc24‘s technology provided faster and more accurately prioritized management of patients with skin cancer.
When surgical treatment was required, the waiting time was significantly shorter using teledermoscopy for patients with all main types of skin cancer.A total of 1,562 individuals participated in the study, 746 of whom served as the control group that completed the paper referral forms were sent through the regular channels. In the study group, practitioners used an iDoc24-branded dermoscope to photograph lesions, completed a standardized query form, and sent both to the dermatology departments electronically using iDoc24’s Tele-Dermis platform and healthcare provider app iDoc24 PRO.
When surgical treatment was required, the waiting time was significantly shorter using teledermoscopy for patients with all main types of skin cancer, including melanoma, melanoma in situ, squamous cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma in situ, and basal cell carcinoma. Triage decisions were also more reliable with teledermoscopy, and over 40% of the teledermoscopy patients could potentially have avoided face-to-face visits. The median time to diagnosis and treatment for all skin cancer types was significantly reduced using teledermoscopy and more patients referred via teledermoscopy were able to receive surgical treatment (when required) on their first face-to-face visit with a dermatologist. The study also showed that the malignant melanomas found were half as thick compared to patients in the control group.
For the physicians, this study confirms that iDoc24 technology can streamline the triaging process, speeding the time to diagnosis and treatment for patients with skin worries, saving time, costs, and even lives. iDoc24 is a San Francisco-based start-up founded by Dr. Alexander Börve.