Smartphone Pics Help Docs ID Kids' Skin Condition

From - December 4, 2017

Smartphone Pics Help Docs ID Kids' Skin Condition

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 -- Parents can get a reliable diagnosis for their child's skin condition simply by taking a smartphone photo and sending it to a dermatologist, new research suggests.

The finding offers a way to get around what experts describe as a dire shortage of pediatric dermatologists.

"Advances in smartphone photography, both in quality and image transmission, may improve access to care via direct parent-to-provider telemedicine," said study author Dr. Patrick McMahon. He is a pediatric dermatologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"Our study shows that -- for the majority of cases -- parents can take photographs of sufficient quality to allow for accurate teledermatology diagnoses in pediatric skin conditions," McMahon said in a hospital news release.

"This is important because pediatric dermatologists are in short supply, with fewer than 300 board-certified physicians serving the nation's 75 million children," he added.

The study involved 40 families. Half of them were given photo-taking instructions, while the other half were not. Most were using an Apple iPhone.

The researchers then analyzed all images of pediatric skin conditions that were sent in between March and September of 2016.

Of 87 images, a digital diagnosis was in sync with an in-person diagnosis 83 percent of the time, according to the report.

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