[Skip to Navigation]
Comments and Opinions
January 2006

Validating Standardized Acquisition of Digital Dermatologic Images for Use in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Arch Dermatol. 2006;142(1):109-116. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.1.110-b

Since 1960, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics have collected data on the health and nutrition of the US population. Unfortunately, logistical and technical limitations have hindered data collection on skin disease prevalence. Advances have been made in digital photography that have the potential to solve this problem if standardized images could be used for epidemiological research. Promisingly, numerous studies have verified the general reliability of store-and-forward digitized images in dermatology.1-4 However, the use of these techniques in an epidemiological setting differs markedly: photographs must be able to include wide areas of the body, while being precise enough to detect subtle findings in a population with a fairly low prevalence of skin disease. This study was designed to evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of the use of digital imaging in an epidemiological survey of a population of normal volunteers.