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Accurate Diagnosis Seen With Photographs of Skin Conditions

High concordance between smartphone photograph-based and in-person diagnosis of pediatric patients


THURSDAY, Nov. 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Smartphone photographs of pediatric skin conditions taken by parents are of sufficient quality to allow accurate diagnosis, according to a study published online Nov. 15 in JAMA Dermatology.

Daniel M. O'Connor, M.D., from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues assessed concordance between diagnoses made by an independent pediatric dermatologist based on in-person examination and those based on parental photographs in a prospective study among 40 patient-parent dyads at a pediatric dermatology clinic. Half of the dyads were randomized to receive instructions on how best to take photographs with smartphones for a secondary analysis.

The researchers found that the overall concordance between photograph-based and in-person diagnosis was 83 percent among the 40 patient-parent dyads. In a subgroup of 37 participants with photographs considered of high enough quality to make a diagnosis, diagnostic concordance was 89 percent. Photography instructions had no statistically significant effect on concordance (group that received instructions, 85 percent; group that did not receive instructions, 80 percent; P = 0.68). Appropriate follow-up was suggested in cases of diagnostic disagreement.

"Parent-operated smartphone photography can accurately be used as a method to provide pediatric dermatologic care," the authors write.

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