Smartphone-based fundus photography for screening of plus-disease retinopathy of prematurity

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2019 Nov;257(11):2579-2585. doi: 10.1007/s00417-019-04470-4. Epub 2019 Sep 9.


Background: Inadequate screening of treatment-warranted retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) can lead to devastating visual outcomes. Especially in resource-poor communities, the use of an affordable, portable, and easy to use smartphone-based non-contact fundus photography device may prove useful for screening for high-risk ROP. This study evaluates the feasibility of screening for high-risk ROP using a novel smartphone-based fundus photography device, RetinaScope.

Methods: Retinal images were obtained using RetinaScope on a cohort of prematurely born infants during routine examinations for ROP. Images were reviewed by two masked graders who determined the image quality, the presence or absence of plus disease, and whether there was retinopathy that met predefined criteria for referral. The agreement between image-based assessments was compared to the gold standard indirect ophthalmoscopic assessment.

Results: Fifty-four eyes of 27 infants were included. A wide-field fundus photograph was obtained using RetinaScope. Image quality was acceptable or excellent in 98% and 95% of cases. There was substantial agreement between the gold standard and photographic assessment of presence or absence of plus disease (Cohen's κ = 0.85). Intergrader agreement on the presence of any retinopathy in photographs was also high (κ = 0.92).

Conclusions: RetinaScope can capture digital retinal photographs of prematurely born infants with good image quality for grading of plus disease.

Keywords: Fundus photography; Plus disease; Retinopathy of prematurity; Smartphone; Telemedicine.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neonatal Screening / methods*
  • Photography / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / diagnosis*
  • Smartphone*
  • Telemedicine / methods*