Background/Aims: To assess accuracy of telemedical retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) diagnosis by trained non-expert graders compared to expert graders.
Methods: 248 eye examinations from 67 consecutive infants were captured using wide-angle retinal photography (RetCam-II, Clarity Medical Systems, Pleasanton, CA). Non-expert graders attended two hour-long training sessions on image-based ROP diagnosis. Using a web-based telemedicine system, 14 non-expert and 3 expert graders provided a diagnosis for each eye: no ROP, mild ROP, type-2 prethreshold ROP, or treatment-requiring ROP. All diagnoses were compared to a reference standard of dilated indirect ophthalmoscopy by an experienced pediatric ophthalmologist.
Results: For detection of type-2 or worse ROP, the mean (range) sensitivities and specificities were 0.95 (0.94-0.97) and 0.93 (0.91-0.96) for experts, 0.87 (0.71-0.97) and 0.73 (0.39-0.95) for resident non-experts, and 0.73 (0.41-0.88) and 0.91 (0.84-0.96) for student non-experts. For detection of treatment-requiring ROP, the mean (range) sensitivities and specificities were 1.00 (1.00-1.00) and 0.93 (0.88-0.96) for experts, 0.88 (0.50-1.00) and 0.84 (0.71-0.98) for resident non-experts, and 0.82 (0.42-1.00) and 0.92 (0.83-0.97) for student non-experts.
Conclusions: Mean sensitivity and specificity of trained non-experts are lower than that of experts, although several non-experts had high accuracy. Development of methods for training non-expert graders may help support telemedical ROP evaluation.