OBJECTIVE: The importance of screening for diabetic retinopathy has been established, but the best method for screening has not yet been determined. We report on a trial of assessment of digital photographs by telemedicine compared with standard retinal photographs of the same fields and clinical examination by ophthalmologists. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 129 diabetic inpatients were screened for diabetic retinopathy by slit-lamp biomicroscopy performed by an ophthalmologist and by two-field 50 degrees non-stereo digital fundus photographs assessed by six screening centers that received the images by electronic mail. Conventional 35-mm transparencies of the same fields as the digital photographs were assessed by a retinal specialist and served as the reference method for detection of diabetic retinopathy. Slit-lamp biomicroscopy was the reference method for the detection of macular edema. RESULTS: The prevalence of any form of diabetic retinopathy was 30% (n = 35); of sight-threatening retinopathy including macular edema, the prevalence was 6% (n = 7). The assessment of digital images by the six screening centers resulted in a median sensitivity of 85% and a median specificity of 90% for the detection of moderate nonproliferative or sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy. Clinically significant macular edema (n = 4) was correctly identified in 15 of the 24 grading reports. An additional seven reports referred the patients for further investigation because of concurrent diabetic retinopathy. CONCLUSIONS: Telescreening for diabetic retinopathy by an assessment of two-field 50 degrees non-stereo digital images is a valid screening method. Although detection of clinically significant macular edema using biomicroscopy is superior to digital or standard non-stereo photographs, only few patients with sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy are missed.