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J Telemed Telecare. 2007;13(3):119-24.

A feasibility study of an Internet-based telemedicine system for consultation in an ophthalmic emergency room.

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  • 1Goldschleger Eye Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel. barsela@012.net.il


We examined the feasibility of a low-bandwidth, Internet-based tele-ophthalmology system for consultation in an ophthalmic emergency room. Forty-nine patients (98 eyes) with complicated cases were seen during night shifts in the ophthalmic emergency room. Ocular images were taken using a slit-lamp connected to a video camera, processed and transmitted to a senior physician by email. A telephone was used for real-time audio communication. Each case was re-examined by the same senior physician the following day. The time needed to capture and to process the images was 5 min (SD 2). Each case was given a feasibility score (0-100%), which was defined as the contribution made by the transmitted images in presenting clinical details which could not have been described verbally. High feasibility scores (mean scores ranging from 85 to 90) were found for the following images: ocular surface, anterior chamber, anterior chamber angle, pupils, lens, optic nerve and macula. In contrast, images of vitreous and peripheral retina received low feasibility scores (mean score 65). There was 100% agreement between the diagnosis made during consultation and the on-site examination made by the senior ophthalmologist later on. Ninety-eight percent of the patients stated that they would prefer being examined under the telemedicine system on their next emergency room visit, rather than the traditional resident on-site examination.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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