Kent M. Lucaccioni, Ltd. Kent M. Lucaccioni, Ltd. A Personal Injury Law Firm
Call For A Free Initial Consultation
Chicago: 312-386-7683
Chicago / Broadway: 773-644-6477
Elgin: 847-450-7990
View Our Practice Areas

Study looks into online medical mistakes

For patients in Illinois and across the U.S., new technology that allows medical visits to be completed over the internet might seem convenient. These programs, however, are still in their infancy and research is continuing to determine their safety and usefulness. One particular study has looked into websites in California that are meant to replace a trip to the dermatologist with what is known as "teledermatology." In this study, 16 of these websites gave recommendations that were against practical guidelines, made wrong diagnoses, and did not give necessary information regarding potential side effects and pregnancy dangers of prescriptions.

In the study, individuals posed as patients submitting various dermatology cases. These included images, infectious, inflammatory, and neoplastic conditions. The images that were used were not of the people who were patients, but of online images found via search engines. The patients stated that they did not have insurance and paid the fees with gift debit cards. They did not give fake identifications. The patients were given a clinician and, in 68 percent of the cases, did not have any choice in the medical professional they saw. In only 26 percent of cases, the professional's licensure status was disclosed. Some used physicians who were not licensed in the state.

The study is limited in that there is no method to know whether the medical professionals would have performed better had the patient been in front of them in comparison to treating them online. In fact, some patients were given a correct diagnosis. Yet, if there was extra information needed about the patient's history, the next questions that should normally have been asked were not. With the patients in this study, 77 percent received a diagnosis or a likely diagnosis. In 65 percent, the people received prescriptions. A minority received disclosure about dangers. Several diagnoses were missed.

Whether patients are seeking treatment online in a similar medical specialty like dermatology or are doing so for another medical issue, there is a certain amount of trust that is given when using this new method of medical care. But mistakes can occur and lead to serious injury and illness. It can even lead to death. If there is a delay in diagnosis or a fatal failure to diagnose, whether through an online examination or in-person, the family left behind needs to understand how to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation damages suffered.

Source:, "Teledermatology Study Raises Misdiagnosis Concerns," Denise Rosenfeld, May 16, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Need Help? Don’t Wait to Contact and Experienced Attorney.

To discuss any aspect of a serious injury in Illinois during a free initial consultation with one of our Chicago personal injury attorneys, call 312-386-7683 or email us.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Chicago Office
20 South Clark Street, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60603

Chicago Office Location

Chicago Office
5025 North Broadway, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60640

Chicago Office Location

Elgin Office
721 Dundee Avenue
Elgin, IL 60120

Elgin Office Location