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Philadelphia Telemedicine Glaucoma Detection and Follow-up Study: confirmation between eye screening and comprehensive eye examination diagnoses

Abstract

Aims To evaluate agreement between ocular findings of a telemedicine eye screening (visit 1) with diagnoses of a comprehensive eye examination (visit 2).

Methods A primary care practice (PCP)–based telemedicine screening programme incorporating fundus photography, intraocular pressure (IOP) and clinical information was conducted. Eligible individuals were African American, Hispanic/Latino or Asian over the age of 40; Caucasian individuals over age 65; and adults of any ethnicity over age 40 with a family history of glaucoma or diabetes. Participants with abnormal images or elevated IOP were invited back for a complete eye examination. Both visit 1 and visit 2 were conducted at participants’ local PCP. Ocular findings at visit 1 and eye examination diagnoses at visit 2 are presented, including a cost analysis.

Results Of 906 participants who attended visit 1, 536 were invited to visit 2 due to ocular findings or unreadable images. Among the 347 (64.9%) who attended visit 2, 280 (80.7%) were diagnosed with at least one ocular condition. Participants were predominately women (59.9%) and African American (65.6%), with a mean age (±SD) of 60.6±11.0 years. A high diagnostic confirmation rate (86.0%) was found between visit 1 and visit 2 for any ocular finding. Of 183 with suspicious nerves at visit 1, 143 (78.1%) were diagnosed as glaucoma or glaucoma suspects at visit 2.

Conclusions This screening model may be adapted and scaled nationally and internationally. Referral to an ophthalmologist is warranted if abnormal or unreadable fundus images are detected or IOP is >21 mm Hg.

Trial registration number NCT02390245.

  • Telemedicine
  • Glaucoma
  • Diagnostic tests/Investigation
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Public health
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