Introduction: Glaucoma, the second most common cause of blindness, is normally detected in clinic. With technological improvements, tele-glaucoma exams can identify these changes off-site. The quality of tele-glaucoma exams needs to be compared with that of traditional exams. This study’s purpose was to validate the tele-glaucoma programme, which allows a physician comprehensive access to patients’ data, by comparing results to clinical examinations. Methods: A prospective study of 107 subjects evaluated in clinic and then tele-glaucoma stations, which consisted of non-mydriatic fundus photography, puff-tonometry, auto-refraction and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). The OCT captured central corneal thickness, angle anatomy, cup-to-disc ratio (CDR), retinal nerve fibre layer distribution and posterior-pole ganglion cell complex data. Results: Intraocular pressure (IOP) comparisons between clinical and tele-glaucoma exams had strong positive Pearson correlation coefficients (0.8248 OD, 0.8672 OS). Strong positive correlations were seen for CDR (0.7835 OD, 0.8082 OS) as well as diagnosis (glaucoma, no glaucoma or glaucoma suspect). A moderate positive correlation was seen for return to clinic time (RTC). Tele-glaucoma had an average lower RTC (2.7 vs 3.9 months). Tele-glaucoma was more likely to elicit a non-glaucomatous diagnosis not found in clinic vs a diagnosis found only in clinic (18% vs 5% of subjects). Discussion: Tele-glaucoma allows for detecting glaucoma remotely. These advancements alleviate patient difficulties with obtaining adequate glaucoma screenings and helps ophthalmologists triage patients with more severe pathology. Our study indicates that our tele-glaucoma protocol is comparable to a clinical exam in its ability to detect glaucoma. Further studies will be needed for off-site testing and transferring data separately for analysis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Informatics