Dermatologist: Teledermatology Could Lead to Wrong Diagnosis

Updated: 02/12/2014 8:28 PM By: Leslie Dyste

People have started using their smartphones to take photos of moles or rashes to send to a doctor for feedback. Doctor Elizabeth Farhart, dermatologist at Allina Health Clinic, stopped by our KSTP-TV studio to discuss teledermatology.

"The technology is out there, unfortunately I don't think it's quite there yet. I think the main issue with taking photos on your cell phone and sending it off is the quality of the photo, so if you take a photo that's not in the perfect lighting... you could get the wrong diagnosis," said Farhart.

She added that oftentimes doctors find spots on patients, that the patient wasn't even concerned about. For example, a patient can come in worried about a mole on their leg, and a doctor may find a melanoma on their back.

Farhart said it's a good tool for access if you live in a rural area where you don't have access to a dermatologist.