PhD Scientific Days 2021

Budapest, 7-8 July 2021

CL_VI_L: Clinical Medicine VI. Lectures

Application of teledermatology during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Antal Jobbágy¹, Péter Szoldán², Fanni Meznerics¹, Klára Farkas¹, Dóra Plázár¹, Szabolcs Bozsányi¹, Luca Fésűs¹, Norbert Kiss¹, Kende Lőrincz¹, Norbert Wikonkál¹, Miklós Sárdy¹, András Bánvölgyi¹

1 - Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Dermatooncology, Semmelweis University, Budapest
2 - MedInnoScan Ltd., Budapest

Text of the abstract

Introduction: Telemedicine is one of the most innovative technology in modern healthcare. This modality is inevitable in dermatology as most of skin diseases can be treated without personal medical checkup. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to dermatologists was limited and it has led to develop an asynchronous teledermatology system at the Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Dermatooncology, Semmelweis University, Budapest.
Aims: The main goal of our study was to provide quantitative data the first time about use of teledermatology in the Hungarian healthcare and measure the accuracy of our system.
Method: We performed a retrospective study between March 25 and July 13, 2020. The number of cases, regional distribution and type of diagnoses were measured. Data were collected from the clinical database. We also followed up patients who were referred to in-person dermoscopic examination.
Results: A total of 10.287 teledermatology consultations were completed at our department. 5.967 (58%) patients were female and 4.320 (42%) patients were male with a mean age of 32.7±22.5 years. 5.967 (58%) cases were from the capital city and its metropolitan area and 32% was from other regions of Hungary. The most common diagnosis was dermatitis, followed by skin infections and pigmented skin lesions. In 1.440 cases, the patient was referred to a dermoscopic examination. Teledermatological examination raised also the diagnosis of malignant skin cancer in 190 patients. Later it was confirmed in 112 cases based on dermoscopic examination. Melanoma was confirmed in 14%, squamous cell carcinoma in 15%, basal cell carcinoma in 63% and other malignancies in 8%. We compared the presumed diagnosis given during the teledermatology consultation with the result of the personal examination. The sensitivity of our system proved to be 92% with a specificity of 87% for diagnosing malignant skin lesions.
Conclusion: In addition to the large number of general skin conditions, life-threatening diseases were screened, using teledermatology under the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, use of asynchronous teledermatology was an outstanding method during the pandemic period and it has the potential to become an important part of patient care in the future.
Funding: Semmelweis 250+ Kiválósági PhD Ösztöndíj - EFOP-3.6.3-VEKOP-16-2017-00009

University and Doctoral School

Semmelweis University, Károly Rácz Doctoral School of Clinical Medicine