Improving Ophthalmology Screening and Telemedicine


The specialty is on the precipice of advancement. What gets it over the hurdle?

New data presented at the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) 2020 Virtual Sessions this weekend showed how primary care-based retina screening could inform physicians of 3 likely outcomes a diabetic patient may face in retinopathy disease severity.

The information is highly beneficial to specialists in need of biomarkers to identify patient risks—but also highlights a growing need for shared screening and preventive programs based on such findings.

In the final segment of an interview with HCPLive® during ASRS 2020, study Geeta Lalwani, MD, of Boulder Community Health, discussed how greater diabetic retinopathy screening is improved, but still suffers from lacking patient education, physician trust, and socioeconomic standings.

“It’s a matter of finding how to balance all those barriers, and then the risk,” Lalwani said. “When you have higher populations of diabetics, you have a lot of people who have lost vision in one eye. Fear of losing vision in the other eye is a very good enabler to start utilizing screening technology.”

Lalwani also discussed the implementation of bolstered telemedicine to better screening, as well as more focused coordination with primary care physicians, who are far more likely to see a diabetic patient at earlier disease stage than she or her colleagues are.

“Diabetic retinopathy is preventable,” she said. “That’s what we need to get to.”

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