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August 2015

Standards in Dermatologic Imaging

Ashfaq A. Marghoob, MD1; for the International Skin Imaging Collaboration Melanoma Project Working Groups
Author Affiliations
  • 1Dermatology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Hauppauge, New York
JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(8):819-821. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.32

The current era of ubiquitous digital cameras, digital cameras integrated into smartphones, and virtually limitless data storage affords exciting new opportunities for medicine in general and specifically dermatology. Digital photography has the potential to dramatically enable and facilitate improvements in dermatology teaching, clinical documentation, and diagnosis. One of the barriers to the diffusion of digital imaging into dermatology practice is the lack of standards for digital photography. As noted in the article by Quigley et al,1 there are currently no standards for dermatologic photography designated by Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine. While some organizations, such as the American Teledermatology Association,2 have offered general guidelines, to our knowledge, no consistent actionable standards exist in medical publications. The absence of standards severely impedes the integration of dermatologic images across systems that support documentation, diagnosis, and clinical practice.

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