INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of patient-centered teleconsultation for various cutaneous wounds by using store-and-forward technology. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From July 2011 to November 2011, 53 patients with various wound conditions were enrolled in this study. The patients took their own wound images shortly before face-to-face consultations with a plastic surgeon, and the images were sent via e-mail to another 3 remote plastic surgeons along with brief medical information. All 4 surgeons completed a standard questionnaire individually, which addressed questions regarding the presence of wound conditions (gangrene, necrosis, erythema, and cellulitis/infection), as well as suggested clinical treatment with antibiotics and debridement. The evaluations were compared among the 3 remote surgeons as well as the remote and onsite surgeons. RESULTS: The 53 wounds included in our study exhibited different causative mechanisms and locations on the body. The concordances between the remote and onsite surgeons were 92%, 79%, 83%, and 85% regarding the presence of gangrene, necrosis, erythema, and cellulitis/ infection, respectively. The agreement rates regarding the treatment suggestion with antibiotic use and debridement between the remote surgeons and the onsite surgeon were both 83%. The remote surgeons reported high specificity, at least 84%, in all parameters of wound descriptions or treatment suggestions. CONCLUSIONS: The patient-centered teleconsultation system based on store-and-forward technology is a feasible tool for wound management, and it shows promises in future clinical applications by decreasing clinic visits.
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