Should smartphones be used for patient photography?

January 24, 2017

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The Journal of Plastic Surgery asks, “Should smartphones be used for patient photography?” Spoiler alert. Yes. More surprisingly, a huge percentage of doctors store clinical photos on their phone.


Here are the key take points:

  • 89% of doctors have taken photographs of patients using smart phones.
  • 57% of physicians store photos they take of patients on their phones.
  • 73% of doctors that take pictures of patients on their phone store them among their "personal" photos.
  • 75% of physicians surveyed believe obtaining verbal consent before taking clinical photographs is sufficient to ensure privacy is respected. The AMA disagree.
  • 83% of would obtain written authorization when taking clinical photos if the process were more efficient. Try PicSafe!
  • Facepalm 26% of doctors have accidentally shown a clinical photograph on their phone to friends or family. Oh dear.
Within the field of plastic surgery, clinical photography is an essential tool. 'Smart phones' are increasingly being used for photography in medical settings.
Article Details

Should 'smart phones' be used for patient photography?
Plastic Surgery. Spring 2016, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p32-34. 3p.
Chan N, et al. Plast Surg (Oakv). 2016.