Telemedicine Helps Identify Diabetic Retinopathy in Urban Populations — Physician’s First Watch
Telemedicine Helps Identify Diabetic Retinopathy in Urban Populations
By Amy Orciari Herman
A telemedicine screening program in urban clinics can help identify diabetic retinopathy in its earliest, most treatable stages, a study in JAMA Ophthalmology finds.
Some 1900 adults with type 1 or 2 diabetes who presented to three urban primary care clinics or an urban pharmacy underwent voluntary ocular imaging with a nonmydriatic camera (nearly 90% of participants were racial/ethnic minorities, often with little or no health insurance). Readers at a designated reading center reviewed the images, sent the results to the participant and his or her clinic, and offered recommendations for follow-up care.
Overall, one fifth of individuals screened positive for diabetic retinopathy using this approach. Of these, 94% had background retinopathy, which, the authors say, "indicates a high potential for intervention in [retinopathy's] earliest phases when treatment can prevent vision loss."