The dermoscope is an essential tool for the practice of dermatology. As smartphone cameras have continued to increase in resolution quality, the mobile dermatoscope has been steadily introduced as an imaging method for dermatology practices. This article will compare the benefits and challenges of a mobile dermoscope in contrast to a traditional dermatoscope with the intention of understanding the future developments for dermoscopy.
The Current Standard For Dermoscopy
The primary benefits of a digital dermoscope are its ability to view magnified images of the skin, which in turn allow for more comprehensive analysis, increasing the diagnostic accuracy of cases by as much as 30% in comparison to standard non-dermoscope imaging.1
However, key drawbacks of traditional devices cited include costs, breakage, and lack of portability. Currently, the cost of a dermatoscope can rise upwards of $1,400. Due to the necessary precision imaging of these devices, many are prone to wear over time, are too delicate to transport between multiple practice locations, or are equipped with cumbersome cords.
Additionally, many dermoscopes are either incompatible with intelligent dermatology software, or only with systems created by the same company. Lack of system compatibility is counter-intuitive to workflows, as images must be manually transferred from the dermoscope, to the computer, and finally to the professional software.The Future Of Mobile Dermoscopy
Mobile dermoscopy is the practice of utilizing a dermatoscope attached to a smartphone or tablet. The purpose of this design is to increase portability while utilizing the advanced imaging capabilities of smartphones in unison with the powerful magnification provided by dermoscopes.
For example, mobile dermoscopes such as MoleScope II work with a wide variety of smartphones/tablets (including but not limited to iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphone models). Designed for professional use, this digital dermoscope offers the following technical specs:
- 16 mm FOV
- ~60x Magnification
- Interchangeable contact & non-contact imaging caps
- Super high contrast polarizer
- Seamlessly connects with all intelligent dermatology software such as DermEngine
In addition to its affordable price, this mobile dermoscope is designed to be portable and convenient while continuing to offer professional imaging quality alongside the latest features available in dermoscopy. For example, interchangeable contact & non-contact imaging caps ensure that medical experts are covered for the widest range of possible imaging needs, such raised surfaces.Intelligent Dermatology Software Connectivity
Research demonstrates that dermatologists are increasingly utilizing advanced skin analytics platforms such as DermEngine for patient management, teledermoscopy, total body photography, clinic analytics and clinical decision support tools.
The primary challenge associated with this trend is lack of interoperability (the ability for systems to be able to process transferred data in a meaningful way). For example, the primary purpose of an advanced dermoscopy system may be to enhance workflows, increase communications, and optimize patient management. However, this cannot be achieved if the system is unable to transfer patient data to other dermatology EMR software or even the images stored on a dermoscope.
In contrast, intelligent dermatology software such as DermEngine are designed to integrate with your EMR/PMS system or offer complimentary migration services from your current platform. In addition to offering the latest dermoscopy tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI), the system is designed to work seamlessly with dermoscopes such as MoleScope II so that images are automatically added to patient files upon being captured, ensuring a truly optimized experience for both medical professionals and patients.Conclusion
This article outlines the primary benefits of a mobile dermoscope over a traditional device. Key tools include portability, affordability, and the ability to work with intelligent dermatology software. To match the rising needs of dermatologists, they must use the most advanced and intelligent dermoscopy tools available for their practice. It is clear from this analysis that mobile dermoscopy is designed to enhance imaging quality while reducing workflow inconsistencies and ensuring all aspects of the practice are maintained in a convenient, centralized location.
-The MetaOptima Team