Glaucoma screening: analysis of conventional and telemedicine-friendly devices


Dr Sajeesh Kumar, Lions Eye Institute, Centre of Excellence in e-Medicine, University of Western Australia, 2 Verdun Street, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia. Email:


Purpose:  Portable, telemedicine-friendly devices offer novel opportunity for screening and monitoring glaucoma in the remote and rural regions of the world. This study examines the effective combination of telemedicine-friendly screening devices for detection of glaucoma in relation with conventional, hospital-based devices.

Methods:  A total of 399 eyes were screened with telemedicine-friendly devices and conventional, hospital-based devices such as ophthalmoscope, tonometer and perimeter.

Results:  Combination of age and family history of glaucoma alone has a sensitivity of 35.6% (specificity 94.2%, area under the curve 0.81, correctly classified 81.1%) and an addition of telemedicine-friendly or conventional visual field tests optimized the sensitivity to 91.1% (specificity 93.6%, area under the curve 0.95, correctly classified 93%). Analysis indicates good agreement between vertical cup-to-disc ratio by ophthalmoscopy and digital image reading. An addition of intraocular pressure test does not change sensitivity (35.6%) and specificity (94.2%).

Conclusion:  This study indicates that evaluations of cup-to-disc ratio and visual field, using telemedicine-friendly devices, are most useful tools in screening for glaucoma. When used together these devices may be an alternative for conventional glaucoma screenings.