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Prospective evaluation of medical student accuracy conducting direct ophthalmoscopy with an unmodified iPhone X

HumanInsight Prospective evaluation of medical student accuracy conducting direct ophthalmoscopy with an unmodified iPhone X

Int Ophthalmol. 2022 Jul 23. doi: 10.1007/s10792-022-02377-4. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: To evaluate fundus examination accuracy of medical students when using an unmodified iPhone X or a direct ophthalmoscope in comparison to a staff ophthalmologist's retinal examination.

METHODS: In this prospective comparative analysis, patients underwent dilated fundus examination by novice medical trainees using either an unmodified iPhone X or standard direct ophthalmoscope. The primary outcome was the mean difference and degree of agreement in cup-to-disc ratio between student examination and the staff ophthalmologist's cup-to-disc observation.

RESULTS: A total of 18 medical students conducted 230 retinal examinations, 117 with the iPhone X and 113 with the direct ophthalmoscope. A greater proportion of students were unable to report cup-to-disc ratio using the iPhone X (81.2%) vs direct ophthalmoscope (30.1%). Student examination of cup-to-disc ratio led to a systematic bias (95% limits of agreement) of + 0.16 (-0.22 to + 0.54) and + 0.10 (-0.36 to + 0.56) with the iPhone X and direct ophthalmoscope, respectively. iPhone X and direct ophthalmoscope student observation concordance for optic disc colour (88.7 and 82.4%, respectively) and contour (68.3 and 74.2%, respectively) demonstrated low agreement with staff ophthalmologist findings. Student iPhone X observations demonstrated lower agreement with staff findings compared to direct ophthalmoscope observations for spontaneous venous pulsations (Cohen's Kappa = -0.044 vs 0.099).

CONCLUSION: Amongst medical trainees, optic disc visualization using an unmodified iPhone X was inferior to the direct ophthalmoscope. When able to visualize the optic nerve head, there was no significant difference in reported cup-to-disc ratio between modalities. However, both modalities demonstrated poor reliability in comparison to staff ophthalmologist findings.

PMID:35871237 | DOI:10.1007/s10792-022-02377-4

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