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Image-based teleconsultation using smartphones or tablets: qualitative assessment of medical experts

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Mobile health has promising potential in improving healthcare delivery by facilitating access to expert advice. Enabling experts to review images on their smartphone or tablet may save valuable time. This study aims at assessing whether images viewed by medical specialists on handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets are perceived to be of comparable quality as when viewed on a computer screen.

Methods: This was a prospective study comparing the perceived quality of 18 images on three different display devices (smartphone, tablet and computer) by 27 participants (4 burn surgeons and 23 emergency medicine specialists). The images, presented in random order, covered clinical (dermatological conditions, burns, ECGs and X-rays) and non-clinical subjects and their perceived quality was assessed using a 7-point Likert scale. Differences in devices' quality ratings were analysed using linear regression models for clustered data adjusting for image type and participants’ characteristics (age, gender and medical specialty).

Results: Overall, the images were rated good or very good in most instances and more so for the smartphone (83.1%, mean score 5.7) and tablet (78.2%, mean 5.5) than for a standard computer (70.6%, mean 5.2). Both handheld devices had significantly higher ratings than the computer screen, even after controlling for image type and participants' characteristics. Nearly all experts expressed that they would be comfortable using smartphones (n=25) or tablets (n=26) for image-based teleconsultation.

Conclusion: This study suggests that handheld devices could be a substitute for computer screens for teleconsultation by physicians working in emergency settings.

No MeSH data available.


Box-and-whisker plot showing the participants' quality rating scores by image for all three devices.
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EMERMED2015205258F2: Box-and-whisker plot showing the participants' quality rating scores by image for all three devices.

Mentions: FigureĀ 2 presents a box-and-whisker plot of the participants' quality ratings for each image stratified by device. Altogether, the images were rated good or very good in many instances and more so for the smartphone (83.1%, average score of 5.7) and the tablet (78.2%, average of 5.5) than for the computer (70.6%, average of 5.2). There were wide variations in ratings for each image and within each type of image. When looking at the ratings between image types, the differences in quality ratings were larger within the photograph-based clinical fields (namely between burns and dermatology) than between the photographs and image-based ones or even between all clinical and non-clinical images.


Image-based teleconsultation using smartphones or tablets: qualitative assessment of medical experts
Box-and-whisker plot showing the participants' quality rating scores by image for all three devices.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5384429&req=5

EMERMED2015205258F2: Box-and-whisker plot showing the participants' quality rating scores by image for all three devices.
Mentions: FigureĀ 2 presents a box-and-whisker plot of the participants' quality ratings for each image stratified by device. Altogether, the images were rated good or very good in many instances and more so for the smartphone (83.1%, average score of 5.7) and the tablet (78.2%, average of 5.5) than for the computer (70.6%, average of 5.2). There were wide variations in ratings for each image and within each type of image. When looking at the ratings between image types, the differences in quality ratings were larger within the photograph-based clinical fields (namely between burns and dermatology) than between the photographs and image-based ones or even between all clinical and non-clinical images.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Mobile health has promising potential in improving healthcare delivery by facilitating access to expert advice. Enabling experts to review images on their smartphone or tablet may save valuable time. This study aims at assessing whether images viewed by medical specialists on handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets are perceived to be of comparable quality as when viewed on a computer screen.

Methods: This was a prospective study comparing the perceived quality of 18 images on three different display devices (smartphone, tablet and computer) by 27 participants (4 burn surgeons and 23 emergency medicine specialists). The images, presented in random order, covered clinical (dermatological conditions, burns, ECGs and X-rays) and non-clinical subjects and their perceived quality was assessed using a 7-point Likert scale. Differences in devices' quality ratings were analysed using linear regression models for clustered data adjusting for image type and participants’ characteristics (age, gender and medical specialty).

Results: Overall, the images were rated good or very good in most instances and more so for the smartphone (83.1%, mean score 5.7) and tablet (78.2%, mean 5.5) than for a standard computer (70.6%, mean 5.2). Both handheld devices had significantly higher ratings than the computer screen, even after controlling for image type and participants' characteristics. Nearly all experts expressed that they would be comfortable using smartphones (n=25) or tablets (n=26) for image-based teleconsultation.

Conclusion: This study suggests that handheld devices could be a substitute for computer screens for teleconsultation by physicians working in emergency settings.

No MeSH data available.