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Survey Assesses Perspectives on Patient Image Use in Dermatology

Most patients report an increase in trust in quality of medical care if they were asked for consent to use medical image

By Elana Gotkine (HealthDay News) | March 22, 2024

FRIDAY, March 22, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients report an increase in trust in the quality of their medical care if asked for permission to use their images for research or education, according to a research letter published online March 13 in JAMA Dermatology.

Trina Salvador, from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a survey study to elucidate perspectives on image use, consent, and identifiability to inform practices for protecting privacy. Overall, 1,316 English-speaking U.S. adults were recruited; respondents completed a 29-item cross-sectional survey.

The researchers found that 64.1 percent of respondents reported no change in trust in the quality of their care if their images were used for research or education. If they were asked for permission to use their images, 56.3 and 40.5 percent reported an increase in trust and no change in trust, respectively. Comfort with use of their clinical images was reported for publication in a journal, training artificial intelligence models, presentation at an academic conference, and education of students and medical trainees (45.3, 54.6, 45.3, and 62.0 percent, respectively). Overall, 45.0 and 51.6 percent reported concern and little or no concern with identifiability, respectively. Most of the respondents (84.9 percent) were comfortable with use of nonidentifiable images, while only 21.1 percent were comfortable with use of identifiable images. The majority of respondents preferred to be asked before use of nonidentifiable and identifiable images (88.6 and 97.7 percent, respectively).

"Findings of this study highlight the need for transparent and standardized consent and deidentification processes," the authors write.

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