June 2023
Volume 64, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2023
Attitudes towards teleophthalmology among the German general population
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David Julian Fink
    Ophthalmology, Universitatsklinikum Bonn Chirurgisches Zentrum, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
  • Frank G Holz
    Ophthalmology, Universitatsklinikum Bonn Chirurgisches Zentrum, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
  • Robert P Finger
    Ophthalmology, Universitatsklinikum Bonn Chirurgisches Zentrum, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
  • Jan H. Terheyden
    Ophthalmology, Universitatsklinikum Bonn Chirurgisches Zentrum, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   David Fink Carl Zeiss MediTec, Code F (Financial Support), CenterVue, Code F (Financial Support), Heidelberg Engineering, Code F (Financial Support), Optos, Code F (Financial Support); Frank Holz Acucela, Alexion, Alzheon, Allergan, Apellis, Astellas, Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Bioeq/Formycon, Roche/Genentech, Geuder, Graybug, Gyroscope, Heidelberg Engineering, IvericBio, Janssen, Kanghong, LinBioscience, Novartis, Oxurion, Pixium Vision, Oxurion, Stealth BioTherapeutics, Zeiss , Code C (Consultant/Contractor), Acucela, Allergan, Apellis, Bayer, Bioeq/Formycon, CenterVue, Roche/Genentech, Geuder, Heidelberg Engineering, IvericBio, NightStarX, Novartis, Optos, Pixium Vision, Oxurion, Zeiss, Code F (Financial Support), Grade reading Center, Code O (Owner); Robert Finger Alimera, Apellis, Bayer, Böhringer-Ingelheim, Novartis, ODOS, Oxford Innovation, ProGenerika, Roche/Genentech, Code C (Consultant/Contractor), Biogen, CentreVue (now Icare), Heidelberg Engineering, Zeiss Meditec, Code F (Financial Support); Jan Terheyden Carl Zeiss MedicTec, CenterVue, Heidelberg Engineering, Optos, Code F (Financial Support), Novartis, Okko, Code R (Recipient)
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2023, Vol.64, 3047. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      David Julian Fink, Frank G Holz, Robert P Finger, Jan H. Terheyden; Attitudes towards teleophthalmology among the German general population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2023;64(8):3047.

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

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Purpose : Availability of telemedical services with the main sectors teleconsultations and remote monitoring has dramatically increased in ophthalmology. Whilst an attractive service provision model, it remains unclear what attitudes towards teleophthalmology prevail in the general population. We have assessed the acceptability of teleophthalmology in the German general population.

Methods : A telephone survey was conducted by an independent market research company among 1008 adults representative of the German population by age and sex distribution. Main outcomes were participants’ attitudes towards teleconsultations and remote monitoring. Other recorded variables included sociodemographic factors (age, sex, monthly household income, level of education), reported visual difficulties and health state (EQ-5D-5L). Associations between these factors and the main outcomes were investigated using logistic regression analyses.

Results : Survey participants were between 18 and 86 years old (average: 50.0±16.4 years). Approximately half of participants embraced teleconsultations (49.8%), slightly more than remote monitoring services (45.7%). We identified younger age, higher income and reported visual difficulties as independent determinants of the acceptability of teleophthalmology, while participants’ level of education and EQ-5D-5L utility scores were not significantly associated (p≥0.16). Male sex was significantly associated with positive attitudes towards remote monitoring but not teleconsultations (p=0.01 and 0.40, respectively). 70.5% of participants reported easier or more flexible scheduling as a potential motivator to use teleophthalmology services. 32.0% reported cost savings and 15.7% the availability of individual reports. Higher income was associated with higher odds of reporting scheduling and the provision of monitoring reports (p<0.01), whereas younger age was associated with reporting scheduling and cost savings as motivators (p<0.01).

Conclusions : Teleophthalmology is a key component for the digital transformation of eye care, but willingness to use teleophthalmology services seems relatively low in the German general population. Younger age, higher income, the presence of visual difficulties and male sex increase the odds for the interest in such programs. This information can help care providers and service developers to implement teleophthalmology services more effectively.

This abstract was presented at the 2023 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 2023.


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