Smartphone app to screen individuals with scabies symptoms

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INTRODUCTION: Patients with scabies are often misdiagnosed before being attended by a dermatologist. The aim of this study was to use a smartphone app to screen individuals from the general population with scabies symptoms. METHODS: Subjects who suspected that they had scabies were recruited online and downloaded a app tailored for this study. A questionnaire on symptoms was completed and photos of the skin were uploaded from within the app. Two physicians, a board-certified dermatologist and a resident dermatologist, evaluated the requests by categorising the scabies risk of each case, and categorisation triggered an auto-generated response describing the level of scabies and letting the participant know whether to contact a general practitioner or not. RESULTS: Within 15 days of advertisement, 228 requests were sent (71% women); mean age 24 years (standard deviation: ± 10.0). Itch was experienced by 90% (n = 208) and rash by 76% (n = 174). The rash was distributed bilaterally in 79% (n = 138). The areas of rash localisation were: arms (63%), hands (56%), legs (55%), abdomen (52%), inner thigh (45%), chest (26%), genitals (24%), head and neck (17%) and axilla (16%). 5% of all cases evaluated by either the senior or junior physician were evaluated as having a high risk of scabies. CONCLUSION: In a very short time, the app received a high number of requests from individuals worrying about scabies; 5% of the incoming requests were categorised as carrying a high risk of having scabies. Mobile apps are a helpful tool to screen for scabies in primary care settings.Omhu A/S. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Not relevant.

TidsskriftUgeskrift for Laeger
Udgave nummer9
Sider (fra-til)7-8
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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