In a study reported yesterday from Switzerland, venous ulcer evaluation done by transmitted camera phone images was essentially comparable to direct examination in the 80% of cases in which the image was judged “adequate.”
From a Forbes report:
A team of doctors led by Dr. Ralph Peter Braun, of the University Hospital of Geneva, compared face-to-face evaluation of chronic leg ulcers in 52 patients with remote evaluations done from cell phone photos.
A doctor conducted each of the face-to-face evaluations. He then snapped two, normal-light images of each leg ulcer with a standard camera cell phone and transmitted them by e-mail to two consulting physicians.
The consulting physicians felt that in four out of every five cases, the picture quality was good enough to make a diagnosis.
Their remote analysis also compared well with the diagnosis performed by the doctor present in the room, they found.
Combined with the fact that there are already mobile phones that can test your blood sugar and measure your body fat, it seems possible that the medical benefits of cell phones to society may actually offset their alleged danger.
We’re just happy that we may find some use for our crappy Treo camera.
Excerpt from the abstract is in the extended entry. The full abstract can be found here…
Observations from the Archives of Dermatology abstract:
Three physicians separately evaluated 61 leg ulcers for the following 9 variables: epithelialization, fibrin, necrosis, and granulation tissue at the center and normal border, erythema, cyanosis, eczema, and hyperpigmentation at the periphery. One physician performed the face-to-face consultation (gold standard), and 2 others performed the remote evaluation. The image was obtained with the mobile telephone and immediately sent via e-mail. To measure the agreement of the evaluation among the 3 physicians, we used Cohen statistics. Overall, the agreement between the remote and face-to-face evaluations was very good, with values of up to 0.94 The image quality was judged to be good in 36 cases (59%) and very good in 12 (20%). The participants felt comfortable making a diagnosis based on the pictures in 50 cases (82%).