Remote consultations from dermatologists via secure smart phone apps can help prioritize care for hospitalized patients with skin conditions, which is significant given the dearth of inpatient dermatology consultative services.Doctor phone web

A new study compared assessments of 50 hospitalized patients in a high-acuity academic medical center, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, between a face-to-face consultation with an inpatient dermatologist and a standardized teledermatology consultation with two experienced teledermatologists.

When the inpatient dermatologist recommended a patient be seen the same day, the teledermatologists independently suggested the same course of action 90% of the time. The teledermatologists agreed in 95% of cases where the inpatient dermatologist had recommended a biopsy. The doctors completely agreed on a diagnosis 82% of the time, and partially agreed in 88% of cases, which is in line with the standard variation expected between providers, the study showed.

The team used a secure “store-and-forward” teledermatology smart phone app developed through Penn Medicine’s teledermatology program in concert with the American Academy of Dermatology.

The findings appeared in a paper in JAMA Dermatology.