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1.
BMJ Health Care Inform ; 28(1)2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1307898

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
Diagnostic Services , Eyelids , Telemedicine , Adult , Diagnostic Services/organization & administration , Diagnostic Services/standards , Eyelids/injuries , Humans , Referral and Consultation
2.
Br J Ophthalmol ; 2021 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207485

ABSTRACT

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.

3.
EClinicalMedicine ; 34: 100818, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163676

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: the need for social distancing midst the COVID-19 pandemic has forced ophthalmologists to innovate with telemedicine. The novel process of triaging emergency ophthalmology patients via videoconsultations should reduce hospital attendances. However, the safety profile of such services were unknown. METHODS: in this retrospective cohort study, we reviewed case notes of 404 adults who used our videoconsultation service from 20/04/2020 to 03/05/2020. We compared these to 451 patient who attended eye casualty in person at the same time who were deemed not to require same day ophthalmic examination. FINDINGS: patients seen by videoconsultations tended to be younger (Median = 43 years, Inter-quartile range = 27 vs Median= 49 years, Inter-quartile range = 28)'. More males used the face-to-face triage (55%) while more females used videoconsultation (54%)%. Fewer patients seen by videoconsultations required specialist review compared to face-face triage [X 2 (1, N = 854) = 128.02, p<0.001)]. 35.5% of the patients initially seen by videoconsultation had unplanned reattendance within 1 month, compared to 15.7% in the group initially seen in person. X 2 (1, N = 234) = 7.31, p = 0.007). The rate of actual harm was no different (at 0% for each method), with perfect inter-grader correlation when graded independently by two senior ophthalmologists. 97% of patients seen on the video platform surveyed were satisfied with their care. INTERPRETATION: we demonstrate comparable patient safety of videoconsultations at one-month follow-up to in person review. The service is acceptable to patients and reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission. We propose that videoconsultations are effective and desirable as a tool for triage in ophthalmology. FUNDING: the research supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre based at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology who fund PT and DS's time to conduct research. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

6.
Prog Retin Eye Res ; 82: 100900, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745955

ABSTRACT

The simultaneous maturation of multiple digital and telecommunications technologies in 2020 has created an unprecedented opportunity for ophthalmology to adapt to new models of care using tele-health supported by digital innovations. These digital innovations include artificial intelligence (AI), 5th generation (5G) telecommunication networks and the Internet of Things (IoT), creating an inter-dependent ecosystem offering opportunities to develop new models of eye care addressing the challenges of COVID-19 and beyond. Ophthalmology has thrived in some of these areas partly due to its many image-based investigations. Tele-health and AI provide synchronous solutions to challenges facing ophthalmologists and healthcare providers worldwide. This article reviews how countries across the world have utilised these digital innovations to tackle diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, refractive error correction, cataract and other anterior segment disorders. The review summarises the digital strategies that countries are developing and discusses technologies that may increasingly enter the clinical workflow and processes of ophthalmologists. Furthermore as countries around the world have initiated a series of escalating containment and mitigation measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, the delivery of eye care services globally has been significantly impacted. As ophthalmic services adapt and form a "new normal", the rapid adoption of some of telehealth and digital innovation during the pandemic is also discussed. Finally, challenges for validation and clinical implementation are considered, as well as recommendations on future directions.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence/trends , Digital Technology/methods , Eye Diseases/diagnosis , Eye Diseases/therapy , Ophthalmology/methods , Telemedicine/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Global Health , Humans , Inventions , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
7.
BMJ Health Care Inform ; 27(3)2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-717393

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 crisis forced hospitals in the UK dramatically to reduce outpatient activity. To provide continuity of care and to assist patients reluctant or unable to leave their homes, video consultations were rapidly implemented across routine and emergency ophthalmology services. OBJECTIVE: To describe the deployment and scaling to a large volume of teleophthalmology using a video consultation platform 'Attend Anywhere' in Moorfields Eye Hospital's accident and emergency (A&E) department (London, UK). METHOD: Patient satisfaction, waiting time, consultation duration, outcome and management were audited following the launch of the new virtual A&E service. RESULTS: In the 12 days following the service launch, 331 patients were seen by video consultation. 78.6% of patients (n=260) were determined not to need hospital A&E review and were managed with advice (n=126), remote prescription (n=57), general practitioner referral (n=27), direct referral to hospital subspecialty services (n=26) or diversion to a local eye unit (n=24). Mean patient satisfaction was 4.9 of 5.0 (n=62). The mean consultation duration was 12 min (range 5-31 min) and the wait time was 6 min (range 0-37 min). CONCLUSION: Video consultations showed greater than expected usefulness in the remote management of eye disease and supported a substantial reduction in the number of people visiting the hospital.


Subject(s)
Emergency Medical Services , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Eye Diseases , Ophthalmology , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Medical Services/trends , Eye Diseases/diagnosis , Eye Diseases/therapy , Female , Humans , London , Male , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction , Pneumonia, Viral
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