Health IT

FDA clears iPhone app for retinal images that could expand telemedicine eye exams (video)

iExaminerAn iPhone adapter with a companion app designed to make it easy to share high resolution images of the retinal nerve and fundus has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Welch Allyn’s iExaminer Adapter connects an ophthalmoscope — used to detect conditions like retinal detachment or glaucoma — to an iPhone. The iExaminer app on the phone allows users to store the pictures to a patient file or email and print them, according to the company’s website.

The Skaneateles Falls, New York-based medical diagnostic device company also offers a portable ophthalmoscope and believes that the combination of all three components pave the way for eye exams via telemedicine.

Telemedicine makes healthcare more accessible and affordable for people in rural and urban areas who do not have easy access to a physician as well as students at college. It could also help make access to specialists easier. Companies are offering telemedicine in areas such as behavioral health, dermatology and hospital ICUs. The newly cleared adapter could help expand telemedicine for eye exams. Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, for example, has a telemedicine center and results are sent to a patient’s physician within 48 hours.


Rick Farchione, a senior manager for physical assessment at Welch Allyn, said in the statement that the device would boost work flow efficiency by allowing providers to share images from any clinical environment. “It is a low-cost way to digitally capture eye imaging and will also make it easier for providers to share images with their patients, helping to improve patient knowledge and compliance.”

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