Telemedicine Screening of Diabetic Retinopathy Using a Hand-Held Fundus Camera

K. Yogesan, Ian Constable, C.J. Barry, Robert Eikelboom, Ian Mcallister, Mei-Ling Tay-Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The objective was to evaluate digital images of the retina from a handheld fundus camera (Nidek NM-100) for suitability in telemedicine screening of diabetic retinopathy. A handheld fundus camera (Nidek) and a standard fundus camera (Zeiss) were used to photograph 49 eyes from 25 consecutive patients attending our diabetic clinic. One patient had cataracts, making it impossible to get a quality image of one of the eyes (retina). The Nidek images were digitized, compressed, and stored in a Fujix DF-10M digitizer supplied with the camera. The digital images and the photographs were presented separately in a random order to three ophthalmologists. The quality of the images was ranked as good, acceptable or unacceptable for diabetic retinopathy diagnosis. The images were also evaluated for the presence of microaneurysms, blot hemorrhages, exudates, fibrous tissue, previous photocoagulation, and new vessel formation. kappa Values were computed for agreement between the photographs and digital images. Overall agreement between the photographs and digital images was poor (kappa <0.30). On average, only 24% of the digital images were graded as being good quality and 56% as having an acceptable quality. However, 93% of the photographs were graded as good-quality images for diagnosis. The results indicate that the digital images from the handheld fundus camera may not be suitable for diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy. The images shown on the liquid crystal display (LCD) screen of the camera were of good quality. However, the images produced by the digitizer (Fujix DF-10M) attached to the camera were not as good as the images shown on the LCD screen. A better digitizing system may produce better quality images from the Nidek camera.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-235
JournalTelemedicine Journal
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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