Smartphone ophthalmoscopy versus slit-lamp biomicroscopy for optic nerve head evaluation: A digital apparatus into medical education

Eur J Ophthalmol. 2022 Jul 15;11206721221113827. doi: 10.1177/11206721221113827. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Th aim of this study is to explore the diagnostic accuracy of smartphone-based D-EYE ophthalmoscopy in the diagnosis of optic nerve head (ONH) abnormalities and screening for glaucoma.

Methods: This is a prospective clinical-based validation study performed on 90 patients recruited from a tertiary teaching hospital. Patients underwent dilated fundus examination by slit-lamp and smartphone-based D-EYE fundoscopy operated by two experienced ophthalmologists.

Results: The diagnostic accuracy of smartphone-based D-EYE ophthalmoscopy of normal vertical cup-to-disc ratio (VCDR) was acceptable (sensitivity 85.8%-96.4%; specificity 51.4%-96.4%). The D-EYE would often underestimate VCDR values as mean VCDR was significantly lower among overall and glaucoma cohorts (all p-value <0.001) for D-EYE in comparison with slit-lamp. In terms of ONH abnormalities, the D-EYE adequately demonstrated high sensitivity in the identification of only margins-related abnormalities (sensitivity 92.5%-96.6%). Overall, the diagnostic accuracy and agreement between expert ophthalmologists using the D-EYE and the reference slit-lamp examination were significantly poor.

Conclusion: We demonstrated that the D-EYE is a highly specific tool for VCDR within the normal range but not in patients with glaucoma. Despite being an easy and portable tool to measure VCDR, it is limited in terms of diagnosing ONH and blood vessel abnormalities.

Keywords: D-EYE; optic nerve head; smartphone ophthalmoscopy; telemedicine; vertical cup-to-disc ratio.