Remote screening can detect diabetic eye disease
Sunday, March 16 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
A remote screening system performed well in identifying patients with treatable diabetic eye disease.
The researchers evaluated the performance of the EyePACS tele-ophthalmology system to detect edema resulting from leaky blood vessels at the back of the eye. “Edema that is detected close to the line of sight can and should be treated to slow or avoid any loss of vision,” said Dr. Anthony Adams, editor-in-chief of Optometry and Vision Science. “However about one-third of all people with diabetes don’t realize they have diabetes and about 20% of those with recently diagnosed diabetes already have some changes in the blood vessels.”
The study included 103 adults with type 2 diabetes, seen at a public health clinic, who were considered at high risk for macular edema. A digital camera was used to take a magnified view of the interior of the eye, without the use of eye drops to dilate the pupil. The photos were sent over the Internet to ophthalmologists, who looked for hard exudates as an indicator of macular edema. “The presence of hard exudates allowed correct detection of actual edema 90% of the time,” explained Dr. Adams.