Background: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a disease of the retinal vasculature that remains a leading cause of childhood blindness worldwide despite improvements in the systemic care of premature newborns. Screening for ROP is effective and cost-effective, but in many areas, access to skilled examiners to conduct dilated examinations is poor. Remote screening with retinal photography is an alternative strategy that may allow for improved ROP care. Methods: The current literature was reviewed to find clinical trials and expert consensus documents on the state-of-the-art of telemedicine for ROP. Results: Several studies have confirmed the utility of telemedicine for ROP. In addition, several clinical studies have reported favorable long-term results. Many investigators have reinforced the need for detailed protocols on image acquisition and image interpretation. Conclusions: Telemedicine for ROP appears to be a viable alternative to live ophthalmoscopic examinations in many circumstances. Standardization and documentation afforded by telemedicine may provide additional benefits to providers and their patients. With continued improvements in image quality and affordability of imaging systems as well as improved automated image interpretation tools anticipated in the near future, telemedicine for ROP is expected to play an expanding role for a uniquely vulnerable patient population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management