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Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila) ; 10(4): 381-387, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367049


ABSTRACT: COVID-19 has placed unprecedented pressure on health systems globally, whereas simultaneously stimulating unprecedented levels of transformation. Here, we review digital adoption that has taken place during the pandemic to drive improvements in ophthalmic clinical care, with a specific focus on out-of-hospital triage and services, clinical assessment, patient management, and use of electronic health records. We show that although there have been some successes, shortcomings in technology infrastructure prepandemic became only more apparent and consequential as COVID-19 progressed. Through our review, we emphasize the need for clinicians to better grasp and harness key technology trends such as telecommunications and artificial intelligence, so that they can effectively and safely shape clinical practice using these tools going forward.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Technology , Telemedicine , Artificial Intelligence , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
BMJ Health Care Inform ; 28(1)2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1307898


OBJECTIVES: To assess the agreement in diagnosis and management plans reached between clinicians reviewing eyelid lesions remotely and in face-to-face clinics. METHODS: In this single-centre observational case series, data were prospectively collected on 50 consecutive adults referred with eyelid lesions suitable to be seen by a nurse. A proforma was completed to gather salient information. A nurse specialist saw patients in face-to-face clinics and collected information using the proforma, devising a diagnosis and management plan. Photographs of the eyelid lesions were taken by a medical photographer. A subsequent remote review was completed by an oculoplastic consultant using the proforma information and photographs in the absence of the patient. The diagnosis and management plan constructed by the nurse specialist were compared with those reached by the consultant. RESULTS: Complete data were available for 44 consecutive cases. There was an overall 91% agreement (40 cases out of 44) between the diagnoses reached by the nurse specialist, and the remote reviewer; kappa coefficient 0.88 (95% CI 0.76 to 0.99). There was an overall 82% agreement (36 out of 44 cases) in the management plans devised by the nurse-led clinic and remote reviewer; kappa coefficient 0.74 (95% CI 0.58 to 0.90). The average time taken for a remote reviewer to reach a diagnosis and management plan was 1 min and 20 s. CONCLUSIONS: This study evaluated the feasibility of assessing eyelid lesions using asynchronous telemedicine. There was overall a high rate of concordance in the diagnosis reached, and management devised between the clinic and remote review.

Diagnostic Services , Eyelids , Telemedicine , Adult , Diagnostic Services/organization & administration , Diagnostic Services/standards , Eyelids/injuries , Humans , Referral and Consultation
Br J Ophthalmol ; 106(10): 1344-1349, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207485


BACKGROUND/AIMS: The COVID-19 has facilitated a paradigm shift in the sphere of ophthalmic telemedicine: its utility is no longer limited to providing care to remote regions, rather it is expeditiously being adopted as the new standard of care. The aim of our paper is to explore the current attitudes of oculoplastic surgeons towards telemedicine and its utility in the present landscape and its prospects in the future. METHODS: A 39-item questionnaire was distributed to consultant oculoplastic surgeons practising across the UK and anonymised responses were collected and analysed. RESULTS: The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed rapid implementation of telemedicine services in oculoplastic departments across the UK with 86.6% of the respondents incorporating telemedicine into the routine clinical practice. Clinicians reported a statistically significant increase in utility of telemedicine, confidence in using telemedicine and quality of infrastructure available to employ telemedicine following the COVID-19 outbreak. The greatest utility of telemedicine is in triaging, postoperative assessment and eyelid lesion assessment. Main barriers to implementation of telemedicine included difficulties in conducting clinical examinations, lack of administrative support and poor access to digital technologies for patients. Overall, most clinicians were satisfied with the impact of telemedicine services and almost all experts foresee themselves continuing to use telemedicine in the future. CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine has become an integral part of the oculoplastic service delivery since the COVID-19 pandemic its use is likely to continue. Further development of digital infrastructure and improvement of clinical examination capabilities are required to enable its wider adoption.

COVID-19 , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics , United Kingdom