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Teledermatologists’ management of emergency skin conditions

Anna R Finnane, Greg Siller and H Peter Soyer
Med J Aust 2015; 203 (7): 286. || doi: 10.5694/mja15.00362
Published online: 5 October 2015

Traditionally, when patients presented to emergency departments or rural hospitals with a complex skin condition, the on-call dermatology registrar was consulted by telephone. More recently, clinicians have begun using store-and-forward technology to send images directly to the specialist, significantly improving their capacity to accurately diagnose and manage patients remotely. Such teledermatology services also provide valuable teaching opportunities for rural doctors and registrars. While there are numerous benefits, including improved timely access to specialist advice for rural patients and clinicians, and reduced unnecessary investigations and outpatient referrals,1 the issues related to patient privacy and confidentiality must be addressed.

  • Anna R Finnane
  • Greg Siller
  • H Peter Soyer

  • 1 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2 Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD

Correspondence: a.finnane@uq.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

This research was conducted with the support of the Centre of Research Excellence in Telehealth and funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council grant (APP1061183).

Competing interests:

Peter Soyer was supported in part by an NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship (APP1020145) and is a shareholder of e-derm-consult GmbH and MoleMap by Dermatologists Australia. He provides teledermatological reports regularly for both companies. Greg Siller runs the Teledermatologist Expert Skin Advice website sponsored by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and conducts teledermatological consultations in private practice. The authors have no other conflicts of interest to declare.

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