Although the steps of the diagnostic process are comparable in telediagnosis and in-person assessments, telediagnosis create opportunities to improve the process while presenting unique challenges for clinicians and patients to address (Table 1).1-3,5-13 Beyond the infrastructure to enable it, telediagnosis requires specialized training, a new language for patients to describe their symptoms, exceptional communication skills, and a keen appreciation of its limits. Clinicians will need to calibrate their thresholds for when a patient’s evaluation should convert to an in-person visit.
Conducting a remote physical examination remains an issue. However, telediagnosis experts believe that except for visualizing the fundus and tympanic membranes and listening to the heart and lungs, in essence, every other element of the examination can be performed successfully with a trained clinician and a willing patient. Many resources for clinicians exist with tips for a successful telehealth visit, including advice from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services,9 the American Medical Association,10 and the American Telemedicine Association,11 among others.12 With the rapid transition to telehealth prompted by COVID-19, research should rigorously evaluate the impact of the quality, safety, and value of telediagnosis to inform policy, practice, and preference decisions.