Telemedicine for Cornea and External Disease: A Scoping Review of Imaging Devices.

Publication date: Jul 17, 2023

The objective of this scoping review is to understand the extent and type of evidence in relation to telemedicine imaging devices for cornea and external segment conditions. The coronavirus pandemic has emphasized the benefits of telemedicine in diagnosing and managing ocular diseases. With the rapid advancement of technology in slit lamp biomicroscopes, smartphones and other ocular surface imaging modalities, telemedicine applications for cornea and external diseases have become an active area of research. For studies to be included, they had to discuss the concept of imaging devices for cornea and external diseases in the context of telemedicine. There was no restriction on the studied population or participants. A scoping review was conducted according to an a priori protocol. Documents written in English were identified from the PubMed and Embase databases and searches. Anterior segment imaging devices were then classified into different categories. Anterior segment imaging devices identified in this review included 19 slit lamp-based devices, 17 smartphone-based devices and 15 other devices. These tools can detect a wide variety of cornea and external diseases (e. g., pterygium, conjunctivitis, corneal opacity, corneal ulcer, and blepharitis). Fewer than half of the devices (24/51) were assessed for diagnostic performance. Their diagnostic accuracy varied greatly from condition to condition and from device to device. The inter-rater reliability of different photo-graders assessing images was assessed in only a few studies. Anterior segment imaging devices are promising tools for remote diagnosis and management of patients with cornea and external disease. However, there are significant gaps in the literature regarding the diagnostic accuracy and inter-rater reliability of several devices. Future research with rigorous methods is required to validate the use of these devices in telemedicine settings.

Concepts Keywords
Biomicroscopes Imaging
Coronavirus Scoping review
English Telemedicine


Type Source Name
disease VO population
disease VO protocol
disease MESH pterygium
disease MESH conjunctivitis
disease MESH opacity corneal
disease MESH ulcer
disease MESH blepharitis
disease VO device

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