Validation of Computer-Aided Diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy from Retinal Photographs of Diabetic Patients from Telecamps




algorithm, screening, retinal photographs, diabetes, diabetic retinopathy


Objective: To validate an algorithm previously developed by the Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre, IIT Madras, India for screening of diabetic retinopathy (DR),  in fundus images of diabetic patients from telecamps to examine the screening performance for DR.

Design: Photographs of patients with diabetes were examined using the automated algorithm for the detection of DR  

Setting: Mobile Teleophthalmology camps were conducted in two districts in Tamil Nadu, India from Jan 2015 to May 2017.

Participants: 939 eyes of 472 diabetic patients were examined at Mobile Teleophthalmology camps in Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts, Tamil Nadu, India,. Fundus images were obtained (40-45-degree posterior pole in each eye) for all patients using a nonmydriatic fundus camera by the fundus photographer.

Main Outcome Measures: Fundus images were evaluated for presence or absence of DR using a computer-assisted algorithm, by an ophthalmologist at a tertiary eye care centre (reference standard) and by a fundus photographer.

Results: The algorithm demonstrated 85% sensitivity and 80% specificity in detecting DR compared to ophthalmologist. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.69 (95%CI=0.65 to 0.73). The algorithm identified 100% of vision-threatening retinopathy just like the ophthalmologist. When compared to the photographer, the algorithm demonstrated 81% sensitivity and 78% specificity. The sensitivity of the photographer to detect DR was found to be 86% and specificity was 99% in detecting DR compared to ophthalmologist.

Conclusions: The algorithm can detect the presence or absence of DR in diabetic patients. All findings of vision-threatening retinopathy could be detected with reasonable accuracy and will help to reduce the workload for human graders in remote areas.


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How to Cite

John, S. ., Srinivasan, S., & Sundaram, N. (2021). Validation of Computer-Aided Diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy from Retinal Photographs of Diabetic Patients from Telecamps. Telehealth and Medicine Today, 6(4).



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