Patient cost-benefit analysis of teledermatology measured in a randomized control trial

Loane, M. A.; Bloomer, S. E.; Corbett, R.; Eedy, D. J.; Gore, H. E.; Hicks, N.; Mathews, C.; Paisley, J.; Steele, K.; Wootton, R.
March 1999
Journal of Telemedicine & Telecare;Mar1999 Supplement 1, Vol. 5, p1
Academic Journal
A randomized controlled trial of the costs and benefits of teledermatology consultations compared with traditional hospital consultations was carried out. Over a nine-month period, 197 patients were referred from general practice for a dermatological opinion, 98 for a teledermatology consultation and 99 for a hospital consultation. Eighty patients required an additional subsequent hospital appointment. Patients were asked to complete an economic questionnaire after each consultation, and 164 questionnaires were returned: 62 of those randomized to the teledermatology consultation responded compared with 58 of those randomized to the hospital consultation. Patients seen by teledermatology at their own health centre had shorter distances to travel and spent less time overall attending the appointment compared with those seen at the hospital. However, the teledermatology consultations were more time-consuming for the general practitioner and dermatologist. These findings indicate that teledermatology has more benefits for the patient than for the health-care delivery team.


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