Purpose: To assess the feasibility of making a diagnosis of adnexal and orbital diseases by Tele-ophthalmological means.
Materials and methods: Tele-consultation for eye diseases was done for 3497 patients from remote areas of Tamilnadu as part of the rural tele-ophthalmology project of a tertiary eye care hospital during a period of nine months from October 2004 to June 2005. These patients were comprehensively examined on-site by optometrists. Using digitized images sent by store and forward technique and videoconferencing, the ophthalmologist made a diagnosis and advised treatment.
Results: Adnexal or orbital diseases were detected in 101 out of 3497 patients (2.88%). Medical treatment was advised to 13 of 101 patients (12.8%). Surgery was advised in 62 of 101 patients (61.28%) whereas 18 of 101 patients (17.8%) required further investigations at a tertiary center.
Conclusion: It was feasible to apply the satellite based tele-ophthalmology set-up for making a presumptive diagnosis and planning further management of adnexal and orbital diseases based on live interaction and digital still images of the patients.