Teleophthalmology: a strategy for timely diagnosis of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy in primary care, Concepción, Chile

Avendaño-Veloso, Angélica, Parada-Hernández, Felipe, González-Ramos, Raúl, Dougnac-Osses, Camila, Carrasco-Sáez, José Luis and Scanlon, Peter H ORCID: 0000-0001-8513-710X (2019) Teleophthalmology: a strategy for timely diagnosis of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy in primary care, Concepción, Chile. International Journal of Ophthalmology, 12 (9). pp. 1474-1478. doi:10.18240/ijo.2019.09.16

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AIM To estimate the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in a diabetic population of the public health system. METHODS This non-experimental, descriptive and cross-sectional study, with no direct control over the variables analysed, was carried out by the Telemedicine Unit of the University of Concepción (TELMED) and the Family Health Centers (CESFAM) of the Health Service Concepción, Chile, among a population of 7382 diabetic patients of the public health system, from October 2014 to June 2015. Two digital images for each patient's eyes were obtained and uploaded to the TELMED tele-ophthalmology platform. The images were remotely evaluated by a retina expert ophthalmologist for diagnosis. Treatment and a referral (if required) were recommended, and an individualised report for each patient was sent to the place of origin. RESULTS The prevalence of DR in this study was 14.9%. Of these, 48.7% had mild non-proliferative DR (NPDR), 30.8% moderate NPDR, 15.9% severe NPDR, and 4.6% proliferative DR. Of the patients with DR, 17.8% were referred for fluorescein angiography, 4.3% for panretinal photocoagulation, 1.2% for vitrectomy, and 0.4% for cataract surgery. CONCLUSION The use of telemedicine allowed an increased screening coverage for DR in diabetic patients. The different types of DR were detected in a timely manner, decreasing waiting times due to the lack of specialists in ophthalmology in the public health system.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: Full text available under CC-BY-NC-ND license on the Publisher's website. The URL link is provided below. The articles is free to access immediately on IJO website and PMC from the date of publication.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ophthalmology; Teleophthalmology; Diabetes mellitus; Diabetic retinopathy; Telemedicine
Related URLs:
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA645.A-Z Individual diseases or groups of diseases, A-Z > RA645.D54 Diabetes
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Marta Kemp
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2019 07:56
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2022 15:01

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