DIAGNOSTIC ACCURACY

To formulate a diagnosis, the physician relies on both subjective evidence obtained by speaking with the patient and objective evidence gained by examining the patient. Historically this process required a face to face visit with the physician.

Photos transmitted over the internet now allow physicians to examine their patients from afar and render diagnoses and treatment recommendations without an office visit. This novel approach to healthcare prompted multiple studies that examined the diagnostic accuracy of these internet evaluations. The results showed good but not perfect correlation between internet diagnoses and face to face exams. However, even though the diagnoses were not always the same, there was almost always agreement on initial treatment or whether to biopsy a lesion.