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Scientists trial using smartphones for fundus imaging in India

Researchers are exploring the idea of using smartphone technology for diabetic eye disease screening in India. Early detection and treatment can prevent irreversible blindness from diabetic retinopathy which is the leading cause of visual impairment among working-aged adults worldwide.

Smartphone-based fundus imaging (SBFI) allows for low-cost mobile fundus examination using an adapter on a smartphone.

A total of 381 eyes of 193 patients with diabetes were recruited at outreach eye clinics in South India. Four different approaches to smartphone-based fundus imaging were used, with three approaches based on direct ophthalmoscopy and one approach using indirect ophthalmoscopy.


he results showed that smartphone-based fundus imaging based on indirect ophthalmoscopy produced the best image quality, the largest field-of-view, and the longest examination time.

Smartphone-based fundus imaging can meet DR screening requirements in an outreach setting; however, not all devices are suitable in terms of image quality and diagnostic accuracy.

Smartphone-based fundus imaging might aid in alleviating the burden of DR screening in low- and middle-income countries, and these results will allow for a better selection of SBFI devices in field trials for DR screening.

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