HealthDay News — Smartphone photographs of pediatric skin conditions taken by parents are of sufficient quality to allow accurate diagnosis, according to a study published online in JAMA Dermatology.

Daniel M. O’Connor, MD, from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues assessed concordance between diagnoses made by an independent pediatric dermatologist based on in-person examination and those based on parental photographs in a prospective study among 40 patient-parent dyads at a pediatric dermatology clinic. Half of the dyads were randomized to receive instructions on how best to take photographs with smartphones for a secondary analysis.

The researchers found that the overall concordance between photograph-based and in-person diagnosis was 83% among the 40 patient-parent dyads. In a subgroup of 37 participants with photographs considered of high enough quality to make a diagnosis, diagnostic concordance was 89%. Photography instructions had no statistically significant effect on concordance (group that received instructions, 85%; group that did not receive instructions, 80%; P=.68). Appropriate follow-up was suggested in cases of diagnostic disagreement.

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“Parent-operated smartphone photography can accurately be used as a method to provide pediatric dermatologic care,” the authors write.

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O’Connor DM, Jew OS, Perman MJ, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of pediatric teledermatology using parent-submitted photographs: a randomized clinical trial [published online November 15, 2017]. JAMA Dermatol. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.4280