Global Teleophthalmology With the Smartphone for Microscopic Ocular Surgery

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This study aimed to determine the feasibility and quality of real-time video transferring in global teleophthalmology using two smartphones during microscopic ocular surgery.


An iPhone 4S (Apple) was adapted into a surgical microscope in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China to capture video during microscopic ocular surgery. An iPhone 5 (Apple), an iPad2 (Apple), and a desktop computer were used as the receptor on the other side of the globe (Miami, FL). A standard resolution test card and the three surgeries of human eyes were captured. During the global video teleconferencing, the real-time video was transferred through Skype from Hangzhou to Miami. A standard resolution test card and the surgery of human eyes were captured. The real-time image resolutions captured and displayed on both phones at different places were measured. Real-time vocal communications concurrent between two parties took place during video conferencing when the ocular surgery was performed in Hangzhou.


The video sequences were transferred in real time between the two cities while two parties conversed smoothly without any difficulty. The viewer in Miami clearly visualized the surgical procedure performed in Hangzhou without lagging and distortion. The spatial resolution observed on the video in real time was similar for both phones.


The study demonstrated that global video teleophthalmology for microscopic ocular surgery is feasible using two smartphones. The simple, portable, and affordable add-on attachment to the surgical microscope transfers high-quality video for real-time global teleophthalmology.

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