Age of The iPhone: Study Finds Smartphone Photos Useful in ER Eye Diagnosis
A recent study revealed that emergency room doctors may be able to use iPhone photos when handling eye-related diagnosis, reported Fox News. The concept behind the study is to have a photo taken of a patient’s eye ailment and then send it to an ophthalmologist’s smartphone in an effort to make an accurate and timely prognosis.
The study was conducted by Dr. Valerie Biousse and her colleagues at Emory University in Atlanta. According to the article, the team collected data from 350 patients who visited the ER for eye problems and treatment. Photos were taken by hospital staff with an ocular camera and were then sent to both an iPhone and desktop computer. When asked to assess the photos, two ophthalmologists determined the photos viewed on the iPhone to be of the same or higher quality than those on the desktop.
Dr. Biousse reported that the results of the study could potentially allow for ER doctors to consult a remote ophthalmologist with an iPhone photo to help doctors determine how to proceed with a patient’s prognosis. She also stated that this is a new concept for Emergency Departments, and although results aren’t guaranteed, it could be one solution to improving patient care in the ER when a specialist isn’t present.
Dr. Charles Wykoff, an ophthalmologist from Retina Consultants of Houston expressed his concerns about iPhone photo use when he spoke with Reuters Health. "The concern for me is possibly false reassurance when there's a normal picture. I don't think it replaces the need for a complete eye exam." Despite his hesitation Dr. Wykoff said that he would fully support smartphone use if it means ER patients are diagnosed quickly and accurately.
photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/[MacXever]
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