July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
The acceptance of teleophthalmology in community health settings in Milwaukee
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nathalie Abenoza
    Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • Andrew Zolot
    Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • Velinka Medic
    Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • Jay Romant
    Milwaukee Health Department, Wisconsin, United States
  • Judy E Kim
    Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Nathalie Abenoza, None; Andrew Zolot, None; Velinka Medic, None; Jay Romant, None; Judy Kim, Optos (F)
  • Footnotes
    Support  Wisconsin Medical Society Fellowship
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 1092. doi:
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      Nathalie Abenoza, Andrew Zolot, Velinka Medic, Jay Romant, Judy E Kim; The acceptance of teleophthalmology in community health settings in Milwaukee. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):1092.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : To assess the acceptance and attitudes of at-risk participants towards teleophthalmology in unique community settings.

Methods : The TeleEye Health Collaborative (TEHC) is a partnership between the Milwaukee Health Department, United Community Center, Medical College of Wisconsin and local institutions that brings free diabetic retinal screenings to communities in Milwaukee that have limited resources through the use of a mobile non-mydriatic retinal camera. This combines telemedicine, community-based screening, and bilingual community-based personnel in an attempt to break down barriers that local at-risk minority populations face, such as access to care, cost, insurance, and cultural and language barriers. Satisfaction surveys were given to participants after completing the retinal screening process in either Spanish or English per participant preference. Paper surveys were completed by 400 participants. Surveys were input into an Excel spread sheet where each of the 8 multiple choice responses were analyzed. In addition, there were three free response questions that were input, and general themes and common responses were identified.

Results : 83% of the responses strongly agreed that they were comfortable during the session and that the location they received the screening was convenient. 80% strongly agreed that they would use telemedicine again. 80% strongly agreed that they would recommend this screening to their friends and families. 73% strongly agreed that they liked seeing the image of their retina after their screening and 66% strongly agreed that telemedicine helped them get more involved with their health. 50% strongly agreed that it helped having bilingual/Spanish staff do the screening. Concerns for privacy were pointed out by some participants; while 20% of the respondents strongly agreed that privacy was a concern. 55% were not concerned with their privacy at all.

Conclusions : The TeleEye Health Collaborative had an overwhelmingly positive response and high acceptance. The satisfaction surveys show that bringing retinal screenings to community centers with bilingual staff allows for participants to overcome language, time, and cultural barriers. The survey also found that participants were more likely to be engaged with their health. These findings show that teleophthalmology in community setting by community workforce may lead to improved eye screening rates and better health outcomes.

This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.


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