Cost-effectiveness of store-and-forward teledermatology: A systematic review

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Snoswell, Centaine
Finnane, Anna
Janda, Monika
Soyer, H Peter
Whitty, Jennifer A
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2016
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Abstract

Importance: Teledermatology is a topical clinical approach being tested in Australia and elsewhere. With most dermatologists residing in metropolitan areas, teledermatology provides an apparent low-cost and convenient means of access for individuals living outside these areas. It is important that any proposed new addition to a health care system is assessed on the grounds of economic cost and effectiveness. Objective: To summarize and evaluate the current economic evidence comparing store-and-forward teledermatology (S&FTD) with conventional face-to-face care. Evidence Review: Search terms with appropriate amendments were used to identify S&FTD articles that included economic analysis. Six databases were searched, and title, abstract and full-text reviews were conducted by 2 researchers. References of all unique returned articles were searched by hand. The Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS) checklist was used to evaluate quality of the included articles. Findings: Eleven articles were selected for inclusion, including 1 cost analysis, 4 cost-minimization analyses, 4 cost-effectiveness analyses, and 2 cost-utility analyses. CHEERS scores ranged from 7 to 21 out of a possible 24 points, with a median score of 17. Conclusions and Relevance: Current evidence is sparse but suggests that S&FTD can be cost-effective. It appears to be cost-effective when used as a triage mechanism to reduce face-to-face appointment requirements. The cost-effectiveness of S&FTD increases when patients are required to travel farther distances to access dermatology services. Further economic research is required for the emerging S&FTD, which uses dermoscopes in combination with smartphone applications, as well as regarding the possibility and consequences of patients self-capturing and transmitting images.

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JAMA Dermatology
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152
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6
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© 2016 American Medical Association (AMA). This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
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Clinical sciences
Oncology and carcinogenesis
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Dermatology
ECONOMIC-EVALUATION
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Snoswell, C; Finnane, A; Janda, M; Soyer, HP; Whitty, JA, Cost-effectiveness of store-and-forward teledermatology: A systematic review, JAMA Dermatology, 2016, 152 (6), pp. 702-708
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