Smartphone-based Remidio Fundus-On-Phone Camera outperforms traditional table-top system in detecting Diabetic Retinopathy

PTI Nov 19, 2018

A team of researchers from Aravind Eye Hospitals led by Dr Rengaraj Venkatesh and Dr Sabyasachi Sengupta scientifically assessed the use of smartphone-based screening for DR in a 2-year prospective study.



The primary outcome of the study was to compare the sensitivity and specificity of the Remidio Fundus-On-Phone (FOP), a smartphone-based, portable fundus camera, and of TOPCON TRC-50DX, a traditional desktop fundus camera against standard clinical examination by an ophthalmologist for the detection of any type of DR.

Smartphones have revolutionized the world in countless ways by opening new possibilities beyond just as a phone. Healthcare industry is embracing this with a rigour like never before. Major drivers for this leap are their portability, relative affordability and ease of use.

233 eyes were imaged using both the devices and based on a comparison of the image grading output with clinicians' direct examination of the patients, images from FOP were found to better than the desktop system (TOPCON TRC-50DX) - images from the FOP were seen to be of excellent quality (59-74% vs 52-61%) which is unprecedented and quite surprising considering the cost of FOP being a fifth of the latter.

These findings are set to rewrite the existing and conventional protocols in diabetic retinopathy screening. This is particularly re-assuring to 400 million patients with diabetes worldwide who are at the risk of losing vision due to DR, if not detected early. FOP scored over TRC-50DX in the areas of image quality, ease of use and patient comfort in the study.

Fewer number of images from FOP were deemed ungradable (1.7-2.1%) compared to the TOPCON TRC-50DX (2.6-4.3%). The Indian company, Remidio Innovative Solutions seems to have leveraged features of a standard smartphone camera in making a fundus camera portable, low cost while taking the output a notch higher.

Earlier this year, an automated artificial intelligence algorithm was integrated on Remidio FOP for the first time in the world - delivering 99.1% sensitivity in detecting STDR or Sight threatening Diabetic Retinopathy. That study was published in Nature EYE. The latest study is published in the October issue of Ophthalmology Retina.

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