Benefits of Telemedicine Clear In Eye Exams For Premature Babies
A recent study showed the benefits of telemedicine are clear for premature babies when it comes to eye exams. The study reports that Telemedicine technology can be used to identify newborn babies who need specialized medical treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), which is a cause of treatable blindness.
“ROP, or the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina, occurs in more than half of all infants born at 30 weeks of gestation or earlier, but is severe enough to warrant treatment in roughly 5 percent to 8 percent of the cases. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends routine screening for all infants born at or before 30 weeks of gestation or weighing less than 3.3 pounds.
Lead investigator of the study and pediatric ophthalmologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Graham E. Quinn M.D. described the benefits of telemedicine in this application saying, “This study provides validation for a telemedicine approach to ROP screening and could help prevent thousands of kids from going blind. Telemedicine actually has an advantage over on-site screening. Non-physician image readers can view more retinal images than ophthalmologists, they can establish a more standardized approach to ROP screening, and using the readers would reduce the costs of routine ROP screening while freeing up the ophthalmologists’ time for other duties. In addition, he said, remote screening would decrease the number of infants transferred to larger hospitals that have on-site ophthalmologists.”
To see more about the study and to watch a video related to the study visit: http://www.mhealthnews.com/news/study-proves-telemedicines-value-preemie-eye-exams