A report on the use of technician ophthalmoscopy combined with the use of the Canon non-mydriatic camera in screening for diabetic retinopathy in the community

Diabet Med. 1995 May;12(5):419-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.1995.tb00506.x.


This paper describes a general practice based diabetic retinopathy screening service employing a technician trained in direct and indirect ophthalmoscopy and taking photographs with a Canon CR3 45 NM non-mydriatic polaroid camera analysed by a consultant ophthalmologist to provide a comparison with the screener's opinion. Prospective data is presented from the first 1050 patients screened for diabetic retinopathy in the Exeter Health Authority area. Analysis of data collected showed a prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in the screened population of 27%, 14% previously undetected with a 0.5% prevalence of sight-threatening retinopathy. There was almost complete agreement between ophthalmoscopy findings and the consultant analysis of photographs. Screening costs were calculated at 10.38 pounds per patient screened. A specially trained non-medically qualified technician can provide a good quality cost-effective screening service for diabetic retinopathy within a primary care setting.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Allied Health Personnel / standards*
  • Child
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology
  • England / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmology
  • Ophthalmoscopy / methods*
  • Photography / methods*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Referral and Consultation