Saturday, July 14, 2012

Smartphones may aid eye diagnoses in emergency room

Sending patient images to ophthalmologists via smartphone may be an option for emergency room doctors looking to make a quick eye-related diagnosis, a new study suggests.
Two ophthalmologists gave higher quality ratings to inner-eye photos when they looked at the images on an iPhone as compared to a desktop computer, according to results published Monday in the Archives of Ophthalmology.
That may mean the phones can be used to diagnose and plan treatment for more obvious eye conditions - even when an ophthalmologist isn't available at the hospital, researchers noted.
"Not every hospital in the country in the ER has access to an eye doctor always," said Dr. Rohit Krishna, an ophthalmologist from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, who wasn't involved in the new study.
Non-eye doctors, Krishna added, "don't always feel really comfortable with eye care. So having tools in your pocket that enable you to do ophthalmologic examination elements are a great asset."
He said smartphones could be used to take and send pictures of damage to the eyelid or the front of the eye. When it comes to complicated, inner-eye photos, using a more advanced camera to take a photo - and then sending it to an ophthalmologist via smartphone for diagnosis - is also a good option, he told Reuters Health.

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