Introduction: This manuscript describes data from an original study, simulating a tele-glaucoma programme in an established clinic practice with an interdisciplinary team. This is a ‘real life’ trial of a telemedicine approach to see a follow-up patient. The goal is to evaluate the accuracy of such a programme to detect worsening and/or unstable disease. Such a programme is attractive since in-clinic time could be reduced for both the patient and provider. This study evaluates agreement between in-person and remote assessment of glaucoma progression. Methods: A total of 200 adult glaucoma patients were enrolled at a single institution. The in-person assessment by an optometrist or glaucoma specialist at time of enrolment was used as the gold standard for defining progression. Collated clinical data were then reviewed by four masked providers who classified glaucoma as progression or non-progression in each eye by comparing data from enrolment visit to data from the visit immediately prior to enrolment. Agreement of glaucoma progression between the masked observer and the in-person assessment was determined using Kappa statistics. Intra-observer agreement was calculated using Kappa to compare in-person to remote assessment when both assessments were performed by the same provider (n = 279 eyes). Results: A total of 399 eyes in 200 subjects were analysed. Agreement between in-person versus remote assessment for the determination of glaucoma progression was 63%, 62%, 69% and 68% for each reader 1–4 (kappa values = 0.19, 0.20, 0.35 and 0.33, respectively). For intra-observer agreement, reader 1 agreed with their own in-person assessment for 65% of visits (kappa = 0.18). Discussion: Intra-observer agreement was similar to the agreement for each provider who did not see the patient in person. This similarity suggests that telemedicine may be equally effective at identifying glaucomatous disease progression, regardless of whether the same provider performed both in-clinic and remote assessments. However, fair agreement levels highlight a limitation of using only telemedicine data to determine progression compared with clinical detail available during in-patient assessment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics