Dermoscopy use in dermatology has been on the rise in the last decade due to its practical advantages for the diagnosis of skin conditions.1 Statistics show that dermoscopy has the potential to outperform traditional methods for skin lesion examination in efficacy (melanoma detection)2 and unnecessary biopsies reduction.3 This article will summarize the top seven features that are driving the latest trends in dermoscopy as a crucial component of modern dermatology services.
- Increased accuracy over traditional clinical analysis: undoubtedly, the benefits of dermoscopy are transforming how dermatology services are provided, with a dermoscope being used for 90% of diagnoses in some countries.3 Magnified images can increase the chances of detecting a potential skin lesion by around 35%.4 Detailed microscopic structures produced by dermoscopes help to better differentiate melanoma from less risky conditions, giving dermatologists the time margin for pathology analysis confirmation, diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
- Improved detection of malignant lesions: based off magnified tissue structures analysis, the advent of dermoscopic imaging has surpassed traditional naked-eye inspection. Dermoscopy has equipped professionals with improved diagnostic decision support tools for an immediate course of action on a potentially malignant lesion.
- Enhanced data analysis with artificial intelligence: machine learning development has caused a revolution across various disciplines, including dermatology. For example, intelligent algorithms are powering tools for content-based image retrieval (CBIR) and full body imaging. DermEngine’s Visual Search and Total Body Photography features are great examples of how AI is being used as a decision support tool in daily practice for accurate dermoscopic image analysis and diagnosis.
- Decreased unnecessary biopsies: Newer technologies such as cross-polarized lighting applied to mobile dermoscopes including MoleScope II render greater image quality. This allows for a higher number of correctly identified benign lesions, helping reduce non-essential biopsy procedures.5 In the same way, the introduction of cloud-based EMRs software has brought better tools for dermoscopic images analysis, also contributing to a decreased number of misdiagnosed spots.
- Integrated teledermoscopy services: the introduction of intelligent dermatology EMRs such as DermEngine, has enabled the adoption of telemedicine for underserved populations. The store-and-forward teledermatology approach can be included in a dermatologist’s daily agenda. Online payment capabilities are transforming the way dermoscopy can connect with inaccessible areas, bringing the necessary treatment and prevention care.
- Facilitated patient data access: modern EMR software for dermatology practices are inclusive of patients as they allow for the digital sending of their medical histories. Better patient involvement in the diagnosis and treatment processes can have a positive impact on the patient-doctor relationship, alleviating stress and optimizing communication for best practical outcomes.
- Advanced patient/doctor connectivity: cloud-based EMRs facilitate the exchange of data from patients to practitioners. Current software are part of the SaaS model, where information is stored in remote-located servers (“the cloud”) making it accessible from anywhere, at any time in a secure and effective manner. Streamlined sharing of pathology lab results or scheduling of urgent follow ups can reduce waiting times. Equally important is the access for patients to perform and share dermoscopic images with mobile dermoscopes through their supportive dermatology software apps. These readily interconnected platforms empower patients to actively interact with physicians, being engaged in every step of the care process for a more personal and effective experience.
Not only has dermoscopy become a great ally to daily dermatologist’s tasks, but also is increasingly changing the landscape of how modern skin analysis is performed. Technology advances in the hardware of dermoscopes as well as new developments in intelligent dermatology EMRs speak of the future of the dermatoscopy practice. Streamlined workflows, actively interactive patients, service available in remote locations and open accessibility of medical records are working in synergy for the well-being of patients and effective medical practices alike.
-The MetaOptima Team
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Topics: Dermoscopy Total Body Photography Mobile Dermoscopes Digital Dermatoscopes Digital Dermoscopy Dermoscope Dermatoscope Dermatology EMR Dermatology Software Teledermoscopy Dermatoscopy Mobile Dermoscopy