Pasquel FJ, Hendrick AM, Ryan M, Cason E, Ali MK, Narayan KM. Cost-effectiveness of Different Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Modalities. Journal of diabetes science and technology. 2015 Dec 29;10(10). 301-7. PMID: 26719134 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC4773976
Current screening strategies aimed at detection of diabetic retinopathy (DR) historically have poor compliance, but advancements in technology can enable improved access to care. Nearly 80% of all persons with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), highlighting the importance of a cost effective screening program. Establishing mechanisms to reach populations with geographic and financial barriers to access is essential to prevent visual disability. Teleretinal programs leverage technology to improve access and reduce cost. The quality of currently employed screening modalities depends on many variables including the instrument used, use of pupillary mydriasis, number of photographic fields, and the qualifications of the photographer and image interpreter. Recent telemedicine and newer technological approaches have been introduced, but data for these technologies is yet limited. We present results of a systematic review of studies evaluating cost-effectiveness of DR screening, and discuss potential relevance for LMICs.