Teleophthalmology Beneficial for AMD Screening
(HealthDay News) — Teleophthalmology appears to be beneficial for screening and monitoring of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published online December 4 in JAMA Ophthalmology.
Bo Li, MD, from the Ivey Eye Institute at Western University in London, Canada, and colleagues examined teleophthalmology as a tool for screening and monitoring of neovascular AMD. Data were included for 106 referral eyes for suspected neovascular AMD and 63 eyes with stable neovascular AMD. The patients were randomized into routine or teleophthalmologic groups. Participants in the routine group received clinical assessment and diagnostic imaging at a tertiary hospital-based retina clinic, while patients in the teleophthalmologic group received basic examination and diagnostic imaging at a stand-alone teleophthalmologic site, and their information and imaging were electronically sent to a tertiary hospital.
The researchers found that the average referral-to-diagnostic imaging time was 22.5 and 18.0 days for the teleophthalmologic and routine groups, respectively (P=0.23) for neovascular AMD screening. The average diagnostic imaging-to-treatment time was 16.4 and 11.6 days for the teleophthalmologic and routine groups, respectively (P=0.11). The average recurrence-to-treatment time was shorter for the routine group than the teleophthalmologic group (0.04 vs. 13.6 days; P<0.01). There was no between-group difference in the end-of-study visual acuities (P=0.99).
"Teleophthalmologic monitoring for neovascular AMD recurrence resulted in longer wait times for treatment reinitiation, but no adverse visual outcomes were identified," the authors write.