A recent study by ophthalmologists could see doctors in emergency departments of hospitals across the world get a helping hand from examined smartphone images to allow for faster and more accurate diagnosis of eye injuries in the future.
Ophthalmologists to Provide Assistance
Common eye injuries such as those occurring through accidents which create puncture wounds in the eye often require immediate treatment, where swift action can be the difference between saving a person’s sight and them being at least partially sighted or blinded for the rest of their lives.
For doctors on an emergency ward who aren’t necessarily eye specialists, those vital split second decisions may be aided with the findings from recent research by researchers including Dr.Valerie Biousse at Emory University, Georgia, United States. The study concluded that doctors were able to more easily diagnose and treat eye problems utilising pictures from an iPhone device.
It is believed that the picture quality of modern smartphones has become good enough to provide a visual image on an inner eye which rivals those viewed on a desktop computer for quality, providing a cheaper and more practical alternative for use in hospitals, in that the phones could be transported around the wards and used for image taking with minimum downtime of uploading to a PC network, dramatically increasing the chances of successful emergency eye treatment.
Dr.Biousse and various researchers at the university used information from 350 patients who visited emergency rooms for treatment and advice relating to visual impairment or injury. In each case, doctors took photos using an ocular camera of the injured eye or eyelid area, before ophthalmologists analysed the quality comparison in the images on an iPhone and a computer system, surprisingly finding the iPhone images of better definition, given the relative power of the technological components in each system. In total, a hundred images were examined by separate ophthalmologists, with the iPhone images rated as better almost half the time, while the image on the desktop was only rated improved on three occasions.
Revolutionary Eye Care Treatment
It is a well regarded fact that not all emergency rooms, particularly those located in the more isolated hospitals away from bustling city’s, are unlikely to have immediate access to an eye doctor. The research conducted suggests that a solution may have been found, with the sending of images from doctor to eye expert for remote analysis possible in seconds, rather than the number of minutes it may take an eye doctor to arrive at the hospital, in which success rate of operation or treatment would be greatly reduced.
This research highlights the potential power of advancing mobile technologies and how they could change the face of the medical field forever, with ever increasing sophistication of phone apps, if not allowing for total replacement of eye exams, at least providing a starting point for further diagnosis.
Jamie is a keen health and lifestyle writer from London who writes for Direct Sight – a leading place to buy reading glasses online.