Telemedicine Screening for Diabetic Retinopathy: Improving Patient Access to Care Kanagasingam Yogesan; Ian J. Constable; Ian Chan

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Kanagasingam Yogesan ; Ian J. Constable ; Ian Chan
Diabetic eye disease is the most common cause of new cases of blindness in the Western world. If the disease is detected early then proper treatment can be provided to prevent loss of vision. Regular screening can reduce the incidence and prevalence of blindness due to diabetic retinopathy. Health personnel, optometrists and primary care providers can perform the screening using digital normydriatic fundus cameras. Digital data can be archived, stored, manipulated and sent via telecommunication networks, e.g. the Internet, to ophthalmologists for diagnosis and second opinions.Easy-to-operate, low cost and portable digital fundus cameras and intuitive software are necessary to perform cost-effective screening of rural, remote and underserved communities using trained lay personnel. Several feasibility studies of telemedicine screening for diabetic retinopathy have been reported. These studies demonstrate the enormous usefulness of this technology for communities living in rural and remote areas. Further studies are needed to prove the cost benefit of telemedicine technology for diabetic retinopathy screening.
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