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March 20, 2011

Computer Software Could Help Diagnose Skin Infections

Technology can help prevent misdiagnoses of skin infections, according to a study published in Dermatology Online Journal. In the study, a piece of software — VisualDx — designed to assist in the diagnosis of dermatologic conditions performed better than physician wh

By cms admin

Technology can help prevent misdiagnoses of skin infections, according to a study published in Dermatology Online Journal.

In the study, a piece of software — VisualDx — designed to assist in the diagnosis of dermatologic conditions performed better than physician when it came to correctly identifying common skin infections.

The study found that physicians in two hospital emergency departments misdiagnosed 28% of patients with inflamed skin conditions as having cellulitis – a deep skin infection.

Based on the symptoms which were fed into the computer, VisualDx correctly diagnosed 64% of the cases which physicians had misdiagnosed cellulitis at one of the hospitals.

Noah Craft, the study’s principal investigator, said that misdiagnosing non-infectious diseases as cellulitis is a common error and can result in unnecessary hospitalisation and antibiotic use.

“This study shows that technology can help physicians make the correct diagnosis so that patients receive the best care possible and avoid unnecessary, expensive treatments,” Craft added.

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