Medical photography using mobile devices

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Zoltie, Timothy, Blome-Eberwein, Sigrid, Forbes, Sarah, Theaker, Mike and Hussain, Walayat ORCID: 0000-0003-0610-4006 (2022) Medical photography using mobile devices. BMJ, 378. ISSN 0959-8146


The limitations of image quality in mobile device technology raise the question whether smart phones are suitable for medical photography. The answer is it depends. There are many factors to consider, in particular the purpose of capture and whether a standardised or non-standardised approach is required. A correlation study comparing on-site wound evaluation versus remotely viewed digital images in plastic and reconstructive emergency surgery concluded that efficiency in clinical decision making is less based upon the quality of imaging but on the timing and method of delivery.4 On the other hand, a case-control study evaluating the importance of standardisation in preoperative and postoperative photographs concluded that poor photographic technique can result in potentially significant error and misrepresent surgical outcomes.5 Low quality images may therefore still result in high accuracy and concordance rates where standardisation is not a prerequisite for assessment, but may be misleading in instances where standardisation is paramount, such as demonstrating preoperative and post-surgical facial aesthetic surgery.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1136/bmj-2021-067663
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4609 Information systems
Current > Division/Research > VU School of Business
Keywords medical photography, photographs, wounds, disease, mobile photography, medical photographs
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