Smartphone Ophthalmoscope Image Analysis for Gestational Age
Jennifer Griffin of RTI International in the U.S. will test whether the gestational age of infants born prematurely can be determined by combining simple physical measurements with an automated analysis of the blood vessels in the retina using the camera on a mobile phone. As the fetus develops in the womb, blood vessels in the anterior lens gradually disappear, which closely correlates with gestational age at delivery. An automated approach increases accuracy and reproducibility, and their new method is also lower cost and requires less skill than traditional ultrasound-based methods of gestational age dating, and therefore should be useful also in low-middle income settings. In Phase I, they developed methods for acquiring quality images of the eye using an ophthalmoscope and smartphone. In Phase II, they will perform a multisite cross-sectional study to generate retinal images and biophysical parameter datasets from preterm neonates for developing the image analysis software and producing an algorithm to identify the best predictors of gestational age. They will evaluate their approach by comparing it to the gold standard of ultrasound.