Smartphones could help emergency department doctors quickly diagnose eye-related conditions, according to a new study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, Reuters reports (Pittman, Reuters, 7/11).
For the study, researchers from Emory University collected data on 350 patients with headaches, changes in eyesight and other vision problems who sought treatment at EDs. The data included inner-eye photos taken by ED staff with an ocular camera.
Two ophthalmologists then reviewed and rated photo quality on a desktop computer. They also assessed 100 of the photos on an iPhone (Armstrong Moore, CNET News, 7/11).
According to the study, reviewers consistently rated the iPhone images as the same or higher quality compared with the same images viewed on the desktop computer.
One ophthalmologist said 53 of the images were the same quality, 46 were better on the iPhone and one was better on the desktop computer. The other ophthalmologist said 56 of the images were of equal quality, 42 were better on the iPhone and two were better on the desktop computer.
The findings suggest that the use of smartphones could allow ophthalmologists to remotely diagnose eye conditions and develop treatment plans (Reuters, 7/11).
Valerie Biousse -- one of the study's authors -- said she and her colleagues next plan to study whether smartphones can help expedite and improve acute patient care and ophthalmologists' consultations (CNET News, 7/11).