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Use of cell phone images appears feasible for visualizing leg wounds

r and the wound dressings, and was able to judge the context of the whole patient, his or her medical history and medical chart, and the presence of other diseases such as diabetes mellitus or arterial insufficiency," the researchers write.

The three physicians separately evaluated the 61 leg ulcers for nine variables. "The image quality was judged to be good in 36 cases (59 percent) and very good in 12 (20 percent). The participants felt comfortable making a diagnosis based on the pictures in 50 cases (82 percent)," the authors state. To compare the results, the researchers used a statistical analysis which measures agreement between two raters when both rate the same object. The value range is one to zero, where one is perfect agreement and zero is no agreement between the two raters. "Overall, the agreement between the remote and face-to-face evaluations was very good, with values of up to 0.94," the authors state.

"In this study, we were able to show for the first time that telemedicine for chronic wounds is feasible under routine conditions using this new generation of mobile telephones and direct transfer via e-mail," the authors conclude. "We had the impression that a high percentage of the problems related to leg ulcers could be solved with this type of teleconsultation. The transport of the patient to the patient to the hospital or the physician's office could be replaced, and this approach could potentially save the health care system money. we plan a second study that will investigate whether this type of teleconsultation can efficiently replace the face-to-face consultation in routine conditions."


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Contact: Ralph Peter Braun, M.D.
braun@melanoma.ch
JAMA and Archives Journals
21-Feb-2005


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