Screening for Diabetic Retinopathy Using a Portable, Noncontact, Nonmydriatic Handheld Retinal Camera

Wenlan Zhang, Peter Nicholas, Stefanie Gail Schuman, Michael John Allingham, Ambar Faridi, Tushar Suthar, Scott William Cousins, Sasapin Grace Prakalapakorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a leading cause of low vision and blindness. We evaluated the feasibility of using a handheld, noncontact digital retinal camera, Pictor, to obtain retinal images in dilated and undilated eyes for DR screening. We also evaluated the accuracy of ophthalmologists with different levels of training/experience in grading these images to identify eyes with vision-threatening DR. Methods: A prospective study of diabetic adults scheduled to have dilated eye exams at Duke Eye Center from January to May 2014 was conducted. An imager acquired retinal images pre- and postdilation with Pictor and selected 1 pre- and 1 postdilation image per eye. Five masked ophthalmologists graded images for gradability (based on image focus and centration) and the presence of no, mild, moderate, or severe nonproliferative DR (NPDR) or proliferative DR (PDR). Referable disease was defined as moderate or severe NPDR or PDR on image grading. We evaluated feasibility based on the graders' evaluation of image gradability. We evaluated accuracy of identifying vision-threatening disease (severe NPDR or PDR documented on dilated clinical examination) based on the graders' sensitivity and specificity of grading referable disease. Results: Images were gradable in 86-94% of predilation and 94-97% of postdilation photos. Compared to the dilated clinical exam, overall sensitivity for identifying vision-threatening DR was 64-88% and specificity was 71-90%. Conclusions: Pictor can capture retinal images of sufficient quality to screen for DR with and without dilation. Single retinal images obtained using Pictor can identify eyes with vision-threatening DR with high sensitivity and acceptable specificity compared to clinical exam.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Diabetes Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • diabetic retinopathy
  • handheld camera
  • portable imaging
  • retina
  • screening
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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