Teledermatology could expedite care for suspected skin cancer
(HealthDay)—Teledermatology for suspected skin cancer is slightly more expensive than usual care, but it expedites time to clinical resolution, according to a study published online May 9 in JAMA Dermatology.
Centaine L. Snoswell, M.P.H., from the University of Queensland in Woolloongabba, Australia, and colleagues compared the costs of teledermoscopy referral (electronic referral containing digital dermoscopic images) versus usual care (a written referral letter) for specialist dermatologist review of a suspected skin cancer.
The researchers found that the mean time to clinical resolution was nine days with teledermoscopy referral, compared with 35 days with usual care alone. For teledermoscopy referral, the estimated mean cost was A$318.39, compared to A$263.75 for usual care. The incremental cost per day saved to clinical resolution was A$2.10.
"Using teledermoscopy for skin cancer referral and triage in Australia would cost A$54.64 extra per case on average but would result in clinical resolution 26 days sooner than usual care," the authors write. "Further research around the clinical significance of expedited clinical resolution and its importance for patients could inform implementation recommendations."
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