Study finds telemedicine as accurate as eye exam for ROP

In a study of 281 infants, US researchers report no difference between in-person and remote examination when diagnosing retinopathy of prematurity

Baby

A US study supports the use of telemedicine for the diagnosis of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

In a study of 281 babies from seven medical centres at risk of the condition, researchers found that making a diagnosis on the basis of a wide-angle telemedicine image was as accurate as an in-person eye examination.

“This study demonstrates that binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy and telemedicine using remote review of dilated ophthalmoscopic imaging possess similar sensitivity for detecting type 2 or worse ROP,” the authors explained.

Researchers note that while there was no difference between the two methods in detecting clinically significant ROP, in-person eye examinations were found to be slightly better at diagnosing later stages of the condition.

The study is published in JAMA Ophthalmology.