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Review - Abstract

  Cite this article:

Brijal Desai, Karen McKoy, Carrie Kovarik. Overview of international teledermatology.
The Pan African Medical Journal. 2010;6:3

Key words: Telemedicine, teledermatology, teleconsultation, Internet

Permanent link: http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/article/6/3/full

Received: 06/07/2010 - Accepted: 17/07/2010 - Published: 20/07/2010

© Brijal Desai et al.   The Pan African Medical Journal - ISSN 1937-8688. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

International Teledermatology Overview – the World is Not Flat

Overview of international teledermatology


Brijal Desai1, Karen McKoy2, Carrie Kovarik1,&


1University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, 2 Lahey Clinic, Boston, Massachusetts, US



&Corresponding author

Carrie Kovarik, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Infectious Diseases, 3600 Spruce Street, 2 Maloney Building, Philadelphia , Pennsylvania 19104-6142, USA





Teledermatology is essentially “dermatology at a distance”, using one of many communication technologies to expand the reach of a dermatologist to those in need of their specialized knowledge.  Most international teledermatology is store-and-forward in nature, a method in which images are stored on a computer and then transmitted electronically to a consulting dermatologist.  This system is more convenient and less costly than real-time teledermatology.  This review will focus on several of the store-and-forward teledermatology systems being developed and utilized successfully internationally.  This discussion of “who” is practicing teledermatology is not comprehensive, but attempts to show some of the breadth of teledermatology practice around the world, including government national health plans, commercial endeavors, and charitable work by individuals and institutions.  The goal in many instances is to provide better health outcomes through increased access, efficiency, and/or cost-effectiveness.  More studies ultimately need to be conducted to develop a more comprehensive and sustainable model for teledermatology.