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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 138  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 531-535

Evaluation of the effectiveness of diagnostic & management decision by teleophthalmology using indigenous equipment in comparison with in-clinic assessment of patients


Venu Eye Institute & Research Centre, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
S C Gupta
Venu Eye Institute & Research Centre, 1/31, Sheikh Sarai Institutional Area, Phase-2, New Delhi 110 017
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 24434260

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Background & objectives: There is a concern on the quality and the usefulness of teleophthalmology images, particularly those using indigenous equipment, in making a diagnosis and treatment decisions in ophthalmology. The present study was done to compare the level of agreement and sensitivity and specificity of diagnosis and management decisions of various eye diseases by teleophthalmology using indigenous equipment, compared to the in-clinic assessment. Methods: Patients having different eye diseases were evaluated by two ophthalmologists - one ophthalmologist examined the patient in clinic setting while the other ophthalmologist made the diagnosis and management decision based on images sent by teleophthalmology. The images were taken by the ophthalmic technician using digital imaging system and fundus camera. The clinical findings and management decisions by the two ophthalmologists were masked to each others. Results: In diagnosis of anterior segment eye diseases such as cataract and corneal diseases there was good to very good agreement (kappa values of 0.68 and 0.91 for cataract and corneal diseases respectively) between in-clinic assessment and assessment by teleophthalmology. There was moderate agreement (kappa values of 0.52 and 0.48 for glaucoma and retinal diseases respectively) between in-clinic assessment and assessment by teleophthalmology for the diagnosis of glaucoma and retinal diseases. For the management decisions of patients, there was moderate level of agreement in all groups of eye diseases. Interpretation & conclusions: Teleophthalmology, using indigenous equipment was found to be effective in diagnosis and management decision of anterior segment eye diseases such as cataract and cornea, and with some modification and continuous training to the technicians could become an effective tool for screening and referral of glaucoma and retinal diseases.


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