Author: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand, 2008.
Teledermatology refers to various aspects of dermatology delivered using modern information and communications technology (ICT).
Dermatological consultations using video conferencing. This is real-time teledermatology.
Dermatological consultations using still images and text information. This is store-and-forward teledermatology. The images are usually obtained using digital technology.
Dermatological consultations using a mobile phone. This is mobile teledermatology.
The dermatologist may conduct consultations with another dermatologist, a general practitioner, another health practitioner or directly with the patient. Teledermatology may be restricted to a certain area such as dermatopathology (teledermatopathology), dermoscopy (teledermoscopy) or triage of skin lesions.
Participants may be in a medical facility, at home or travelling in a remote location.
Teledermatology also may be applied to the dermatological education or peer support of dermatologists, other health practitioners or consumers (patients).
The technology may involve the plain old telephone system (POTS) or the Internet, via satellite, wireless or copper wire. It may involve broadband, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), mobile or dial-up connections.