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June 1972

Accuracy of Dermatologic Diagnosis by Television

Author Affiliations

Cambridge, Mass; Boston; Cambridge, Mass

From the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (Drs. Murphy and Sheridan); and the Department of Dermatology and the Medical Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Drs. Fitzpatrick, Haynes, and Bird).

Arch Dermatol. 1972;105(6):833-835. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620090005001

Comparisons of diagnoses made by black and white television viewing of slides of dermatologic lesions to those made by directly viewing of the same color slides revealed that in 85% to 89% of cases the dermatologists were as accurate by television as on direct examination. Color television improved accuracy only slightly, but was more acceptable to the dermatologists as less time was required to reach a diagnosis. Considerable work must be done to improve facility of dermatologic inspection by television. Focusing, zoom control, camera positioning, and lighting require particular attention. This study demonstrated that dermatologists can diagnose color slides by black and white television more accurately than nondermatologists viewing direct projections of the same color slides.