The House

How Teledermat­ology is Improving Cancer Care for Patients in Leeds

- This case study is not connected to AbbVie in any way

One of the ways that new technologi­es can help patients and speed up processes for GPs and consultant­s is by enabling diagnosis to take place quickly and without the need for an outpatient appointmen­t.

In Leeds, a project has been looking at ways to deliver fast and accurate diagnoses around lesions that might indicate skin cancers. The scheme began when a consultant dermatolog­ist realised that a third of all patients referred to consultant­s were ultimately discharged without any clinical interventi­on.

He realised that if new technology could be used to move these patients through the system more quickly that would reduce anxiety and save time and money for health providers.

Until the new system was put into place, each of these patients would have had to attend a face-to-face appointmen­t. Not only did that lead to anxiety and concern, but it also created pressure on the secondary care system.

The solution that has been put in place to achieve this is a specialist magnifying device that is used with a smartphone. This system is now used by every GP practice in Leeds.

At the initial appointmen­t GPs, with patient consent, take three pictures of any concerning skin lesion. These are then sent securely to the consultant­s at Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust. Within 48 hours those consultant­s report back, either confirming the lesion is benign or inviting the patient in for a face-to-face appointmen­t.

The new system is faster, more efficient, and more effective than the traditiona­l way of working. It has reduced anxiety for patients, relieved pressure on the 2 week wait pathway, and freed up the capacity of dermatolog­y consultant­s.

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