Smartphones Can Play a Major Role in Improving Ophthalmic Diagnosis, Says Study

July 12, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Smartphones can play a very positive role as a new tool with ophthalmologists, shows a new study conducted by the Emory University.

Smartphones can be extensively used by ophthalmologists for viewing complex inner eye photos for diagnostic purpose. They can also be used for taking, sending and viewing pictures of the damage to the front of the eye or eyelids.

The study was conducted among some 350 patients who reported issues like headaches, eyesight changes and similar vision problems in emergency rooms.

The study also included the inner-eye photos taken by the ER staff using an ocular camera.

Then the study team assessed the response of two ophthalmologists who viewed and rated the pictures on a desktop PC and did the same on an iPhone.

The results of the study, published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, show that the doctors found the iPhone images good or better than desktop images and rated them high.

While one ophthalmologist felt 53 pictures were of the same quality, he found 46 better on iPhone and just one was better on PC.

For the other ophthalmologist who participated in the study, 56 were of equal quality, while 42 were better on iPhone leaving only two better on PC.

The study team thinks that it is possible that smartphones can be used in ophthalmic treatment as a new tool with which hospital staff can send the photos from the ER to the doctor’s smartphone for consultation. And later maybe, somebody can make an app for that.

The team is planning to extend its study about this possibility.

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