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Resolution and screen size


This issue really depends on the clinical situation that you are engaged in. In the ATA published guidelines, for telemental health use, the suggestion states that “transmission speed shall be the minimum necessary to allow the smooth and natural communication pace necessary for clinical encounters”—which is quite subjective and depends on what the clinician wants to accomplish. The ATA’s guidelines for teledermatology state that the technology shall have a minimum of 4CIF (704×480) pixels or higher. As one can see, the barrier is set quite low and it should be noted that high-quality care has been provided for decades at these resolutions. 

With the rapid adoption of cell phones, the situation has been created where there are very small screens that have very high resolution. Typically, large hospital systems purchase monitors in bulk and are usually 17” monitors with a typical resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels. These days it is much more confusing as the mobile device you are carrying in your pocket may have a higher resolution than the monitor on your desk. At the end of the day, the final decision rests with the clinician to determine if the technology is sufficient for the presented clinical case.