These applications provide users with an interface to virtually interact with a health care professional for a fee, and send pictures of particular skin lesions or rashes of concern, usually accompanied by clinical history, to receive timely diagnosis and treatment (including prescriptions). Users are occasionally able to ask specific follow up questions. These applications may be appealing to the patients due to lower costs, convenience of 24/7 access, timely feedback, and anonymity (especially if the lesion of concern is in a sensitive area). However, the ability of the patient to receive quality care depends upon the training and experience of the clinician. In addition, as with other applications, these apps are not intended to replace a total body exam as early subtle skin cancers may not reach the users’ threshold of concern. In addition, as these apps store and transmit sensitive patient information, security and privacy remain a concern and need to be monitored. Some currently available apps include:
Learn about practice guidelines in teledermatology at The American Telemedicine Association.