Telemedicine for Retinopathy of Prematurity: Why and How
Deborah K. VanderVeen; R.V. Paul Chan; Michael F. Chiang; Michael T. Trese
Boston Children’s Hospital
Purpose/Relevance: Telehealth programs have been developed for detection of eye disease in populations that lack traditional resources for screening. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a vasoproliferative retinal disease found in premature infants that can lead to blindness without timely detection and treatment. Even in developed countries, a lack of ophthalmologists with expertise in ROP screening and treatment for ROP has resulted in interest and implementation of digital image analysis as a screening modality.
Target Audience: Pediatric ophthalmologists, general ophthalmologists, retina specialists, and trainees
Current Practice: Standard ROP screening is performed for at risk infants using indirect ophthalmoscopy at the bedside. Only a small number of centers routinely use remote digital imaging as part of ROP screening.
Best Practice: An understanding of benefits and limitations of remote telescreening for ROP is needed, and specific components are required in order to establish a safe and reliable telescreening program.
Expected Outcomes: The audience will hear why telescreening might be advantageous, and understand how to safely incorporate this modality into routine ROP screening.
Format: The panel will present scenarios in which ROP telescreening is currently used, review the evidence for safety, validity, and reliability of telescreening, and address common challenges in the implementation of real-world programs, including methods of data acquisition and secure transfer, and training of personnel.
Summary: This workshop will consider situations in which remote image capture for ROP screening may be useful or preferable, review supporting literature, and discuss considerations for real world implementation.
References: Fierson WM, Capone A Jr; American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Ophthalmology; American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association of Certified Orthoptists. Telemedicine for evaluation of retinopathy of prematurity. Pediatrics. 2015 Jan;135(1):e238-54.