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Comparative evaluation of a novel solar powered low-cost ophthalmoscope (Arclight) by eye healthcare workers in Malawi

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Rebecca Blundell, David Roberts, Evridiki Fioratou, Carl Abraham, Joseph Msosa, Tamara Chirambo, Andrew Blaikie

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This study compared a novel low-cost solar powered direct ophthalmoscope called the Arclight with a traditional direct ophthalmoscope (TDO). After appropriate training, 25 Malawian eye healthcare workers were asked to examine 12 retinal images placed in a teaching manikin head with both the Arclight ophthalmoscope and a traditional direct ophthalmoscope (Keeler Professional V.2.8). Participants were scored on their ability to identify clinical signs, to make a diagnosis and how long they took to make a diagnosis. They were also asked to score each ophthalmoscope for ‘ease of use’. Statistically significant differences were found in favour of the Arclight in the number of clinical signs identified, correct diagnoses made and ease of use. The ophthalmoscopes were equally effective as a screening tool for diabetic retinopathy, and there was no statistically difference in time to diagnosis. The authors conclude that the Arclight offers an easy to use, low cost alternative to the traditional direct ophthalmoscope to meet the demands for screening and diagnosis of visually impairing eye disorders in low-income and middle-income countries.


Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)98-102
JournalBMJ Innovations
Early online date12 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2018

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