Virtual Consensus Net Meeting on Dermoscopy:
The ultimate goal for improving the diagnosis of melanoma
H. Peter Soyer and Giuseppe Argenziano
Dermoscopy is nowadays a well-established, easy to perform, non-invasive technique for the diagnosis of pigmented skin tumors in general and melanoma in particular. It allows the evaluation of morphologic features which are otherwise not visible to the naked eye examination. The structures seen by dermoscopy, however, are very heterogeneous and can confuse an inexperienced investigator. Therefore, there is a need for better standardization of the dermoscopic terminology. The last and only Consensus Meeting on Dermoscopy has been held more than ten years ago in October 1988 in Hamburg and because the method is getting more and more popular not only among dermatologists but also among oncologists, surgeons, pediatricians and even general physicians a brand new type of Consensus Meeting, namely, a ‘Virtual Consensus Net Meeting’ with experts in the field from all over the world has recently be initiated by Italian and Austrian researchers in order to refine the dermoscopic terminology as well as to simplify the diagnostic categories of pigmented skin tumors.
In the last few years, the continuous progress in information technology has lead to the introduction of a revolutionary diagnostic tool known as telemedicine, and teledermoscopy being the ultimate procedure in the realm of pigmented skin tumors combining the already well accepted diagnostic tool of dermoscopy with telemedicine technologies. Establishing teledermoscopy in an innovative way will allow to provide a network of services for the citizen, which will enable physicians at the point of care to obtain support from medical centres of excellence in diagnosing pigmented skin tumors including melanoma. So, location independent access to medical competence can be achieved and medical knowledge will be transferred more easily from centres to periphery.
The results of this endeavor will be presented to the scientific community in Rome in February 2001 during the ‘First World Congress on Dermoscopy’. In the spirit of this project all data will be available for free on the Internet at dermoscopy.org .
Department of Dermatology
University of Graz (Austria)
Department of Derrmatology
University Federico II of Naples (Italy)
EDRA srl Medical Publishing & New Media – Milan (Italy)
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