Feasibility of tele-ophthalmology for screening for eye disease in remote communities

Li Sheng Chen, Ching Yao Tsai, Tzeng Ying Liu, Tao Hsin Tung, Yueh Hsia Chiu, Chang Chuan Chan, Der Ming Liou, Tony Hsiu Hsi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We assessed the feasibility of tele-ophthalmology in a remote location, Tungyin, an island 200 km from Taiwan, which has no ophthalmologist. Screening for eye diseases was carried out among residents aged 40 years or more. A total of 113 subjects, approximately 31% of the whole population, were enrolled in the screening programme. Images were transmitted (via ADSL) to a retinal specialist in Taiwan for diagnosis. The average processing time, excluding the time for copying files, was 6.4 s (SD 2.1) per subject. Transmission took 60-90 s for most of the images (83%). The average time required to make a diagnosis for each subject, including data entry, was approximately 34s (SD 18). In screening for retinopathy, the detection rate with digital imaging (8.8%) was two times higher than with indirect ophthalmoscopy (4.4%). In 12% of cases macular degeneration was identified, and in 6% there were mild or moderate problems with the optic disc. Community-based screening for four categories of eye disease was successfully demonstrated using store-and-forward tele-ophthalmology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • General Nursing
  • Health Informatics


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