Incorporation of a virtual assessment into a care pathway for initial glaucoma management: feasibility study

Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2008 Aug;36(6):543-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2008.01831.x.


Purpose: To investigate the feasibility of a glaucoma triage assessment based on the consideration of clinical data in a virtual clinic environment.

Methods: One hundred consecutive new patients were assessed by masked observers for a possible diagnosis of glaucoma or ocular hypertension by evaluation of clinical data compiled by a technician in the absence of the patient. The virtual clinic diagnoses were compared with those made by actual examination of the patient in the outpatient clinic.

Results: A total of 22% of subjects were excluded from interobserver comparison because of atypical scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. Of the 78% of subjects completing virtual and actual clinical assessments diagnostic agreement was good, weighted Kappa was of 0.72 (95% confidence interval 0.85 to 0.59), sensitivity 94.4% and specificity 86.7%. No case of glaucoma was misdiagnosed as normal by virtual assessment.

Conclusion: Clinical findings and data relating to glaucoma may be evaluated in a virtual clinic with satisfactory diagnostic accuracy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological / standards*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Triage