In the field of oriental traditional medicine, precise analysis of tongue and skin condition such as color, moisture, bulging or swelling, and/or pulse condition such as palpation amplitude and stiffness is very important to reach reliable diagnosis. Such "live" inspection before the "live" objects is most desirable. However, if it can be obtained "virtually" using information technologies, physicians may diagnose their patients distantly.
In twenty-five patients of oriental traditional medicine, as well as usual physical examination from modern medicine, specific examination from oriental traditional medicine were performed. Patients were indicated to take their tongue and/or skin by high resolution digital camera or CCD camera attached to the cell phone and send to the clinic from their home through internet. Then we analyzed both "virtual" and "live" images personally.
As for the information of color and moisture from images of tongue and skin, it did not show much difference between the images from "live" and "virtual". As for the property of three-dimensional information such as bulging or swelling of tongue and/or skin surface, it was too hard to judge precisely from two-dimensional information.
The images from "virtual" inspection were thought to be enough for diagnosis of the patient condition even for the oriental traditional medicine. We suggested the reliability on application of tele-diagnosis even on the field of complementary and alternative medicine. For further study, we plan to evaluate three-dimensional information of tongue and/or skin surface and haptic information of pulse palpation.