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1.
Acta Diabetol ; 59(12): 1521-1530, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1990649

ABSTRACT

AIM: The purpose of this review is to examine the applications of novel digital technology domains for the screening and management of patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR). METHODS: A PubMed engine search was performed, using the terms "Telemedicine", "Digital health", "Telehealth", "Telescreening", "Artificial intelligence", "Deep learning", "Smartphone", "Triage", "Screening", "Home-based", "Monitoring", "Ophthalmology", "Diabetes", "Diabetic Retinopathy", "Retinal imaging". Full-text English language studies from January 1, 2010, to February 1, 2022, and reference lists were considered for the conceptual framework of this review. RESULTS: Diabetes mellitus and its eye complications, including DR, are particularly well suited to digital technologies, providing an ideal model for telehealth initiatives and real-world applications. The current development in the adoption of telemedicine, artificial intelligence and remote monitoring as an alternative to or in addition to traditional forms of care will be discussed. CONCLUSIONS: Advances in digital health have created an ecosystem ripe for telemedicine in the field of DR to thrive. Stakeholders and policymakers should adopt a participatory approach to ensure sustained implementation of these technologies after the COVID-19 pandemic. This article belongs to the Topical Collection "Diabetic Eye Disease", managed by Giuseppe Querques.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Diabetic Retinopathy , Telemedicine , Humans , Pandemics , Ecosystem , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetic Retinopathy/diagnosis , Diabetic Retinopathy/therapy , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Mass Screening
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(9)2022 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820251

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to investigate the implementation of diabetes complications screening in South Korea during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Data from the Korea Community Health Surveys conducted in 2019 and 2020 were used. This study included 51,471 participants. Multiple level analysis was used to investigate the relationships between screening for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic nephropathy and variables of both individual- and community-level factors in 2019 and 2020, before and after the COVID-19 outbreak. Diabetes nephropathy complications screening in 2020 had a lower odds ratio. However, regions heavily affected by COVID-19 showed a negative association with diabetes complications screening after the COVID-19 outbreak. For those being treated with medication for diabetes, there was a significant negative association with diabetic nephropathy screening after the outbreak. The COVID-19 outbreak was associated with a reduction in the use of diabetes nephropathy complications screening. Additionally, only regions heavily affected by COVID-19 spread showed a negative association with diabetes complications screening compared to before the COVID-19 outbreak. In this regard, it appears that many patients were unable to attend outpatient care due to COVID-19. As such, these patients should be encouraged to visit clinics for diabetes complications screening. Furthermore, alternative methods need to be developed to support these patients. Through these efforts, the development of diabetes-related complications should be prevented, and the costs associated with these complications will be reduced.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Complications , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Diabetic Nephropathies , Diabetic Retinopathy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetes Complications/complications , Diabetes Complications/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology , Diabetic Nephropathies/diagnosis , Diabetic Nephropathies/epidemiology , Diabetic Nephropathies/etiology , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
4.
J Clin Lab Anal ; 36(4): e24334, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1782612

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Among patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR), no proof was available to confirm the prognostic significance of the neutrophil percentage-to-albumin ratio (NPAR). We hypothesized that NPAR plays a role in the incidence of DR in diabetic patients. METHODS: We extracted all diabetes mellitus (DM) data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database between 1999 and 2018, NPAR was expressed as neutrophil percentage/albumin. Multivariable logistic regression and generalized additive model were utilized for the purpose of examining the correction between NPAR levels and DR. Subgroup analysis of the associations between NPAR and DR was carried out to investigate if the impact of the NPAR varied among different subgroups. RESULTS: An aggregate of 5850 eligible participants were included in the present research. The relationship between NPAR levels and DR was positive linear. In the multivariate analysis, following the adjustment for confounders (gender, white blood cell, age, monocyte percent, red cell distribution width, eosinophils percent, bicarbonate, body mass index, iron, glucose, basophils percent, total bilirubin, creatinine, and chloride), higher NPAR was an independent risk factor for DR compared to lower NPAR (OR, 95% CI: 1.18, 1.00-1.39; 1.24, 1.04-1.48). For the purpose of sensitivity analysis, we found a trend of consistency (p for trend: 0.0190). The results of the subgroup analysis revealed that NPAR did not exert any statistically significant interactions with any of the other DR risk variables. CONCLUSIONS: Elevated NPAR is associated with an elevated risk of occurrence of DR in diabetic patients.


Subject(s)
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Diabetic Retinopathy , Albumins/analysis , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Humans , Leukocyte Count , Neutrophils/chemistry , Nutrition Surveys , Risk Factors
5.
Diabetes Res Clin Pract ; 187: 109869, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773244

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Certain patients with Diabetes Mellitus (DM) have high risk for complications from COVID-19. We aimed to test the hypothesis that pre-existing diabetic retinopathy (DR), a microvascular disease, is a prognostic indicator for poor COVID-19 outcome in this heterogeneous population. METHODS: Seven databases (including MEDLINE) and grey literature were searched, identifying eligible studies using predetermined selection criteria. The Quality in Prognosis Studies (QUIPS) tool was used for quality assessment, followed by narrative synthesis of included studies. RESULTS: Eight cohort studies were identified. Three showed significant positive associations between DR and poor COVID-19 outcomes. The highest quality study, McGurnaghan, found increased risk of the combined outcome fatal or critical care unit (CCU)-treated COVID-19 with referable-grade DR (OR 1.672, 95% CI 1.38-2.03). Indirectly, four studies reported positive associations with microvascular disease and poorer prognosis. Variability between studies limited comparability. CONCLUSIONS: The current literature suggests an independent association between DR and poorer COVID-19 prognosis in patients with DM after controlling for key variables such as age. The use of standardised methodology in future studies would establish the predictive value of DR with greater confidence. Researchers should consider comparing the predictive value of DR and its severity, to other microvascular complications of DM.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Diabetic Retinopathy , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Prognosis
6.
BMC Ophthalmol ; 22(1): 119, 2022 Mar 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736355

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Routine hospital eye services (HES) across the National health service (NHS), and diabetic eye screening (DES) in Scotland were paused during the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. Alternate pathways for managing acute ophthalmic pathology were devised in NHS Grampian covering the North-East of Scotland. Emergency eye treatment centres (EETC) manned by community optometrists were set up to treat and triage referrals to HES. METHODS: Retrospective study analysing consecutive patients referred to a tertiary eye centre (Aberdeen Royal Infirmary) with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) related complications between March and August 2020. General demographical data, diabetic history, visual acuity, ocular complication, type of management, time to follow-up, and any appointment cancellations were extracted for analysis. RESULTS: Fifty two eyes of 46 patients with PDR related complications were identified. HES appointment had been delayed or cancelled in 22 patients (48%) due to COVID-19. Mean age was 54.5 years (±15.1), 21 (46%) were female, 21 (46%) had type 1 diabetes; mean HbA1c was 78 mmol/l (±18.7). Vision ranged from 6/6 to perception of light. 36 (78%) patients had unilateral vitreous haemorrhage (VH), 6 (13%) bilateral, 2 (4%) tractional retinal detachments and 3 (6.5%) had neovascular glaucoma. Of 48 acute PDR presentations, 18 (38%) were given anti-VEGF within 72 h and two (4%) had PRP the same day. 16 (33%) were rebooked into the laser clinic, 13 (27%) referred for urgent surgical review, and 17 (35%) advised observation and review in clinic. After a median follow-up of 6 months, 12 eyes (23%) of 11 patients progressed to have vitrectomy. CONCLUSION: Despite lockdown, hospital appointment cancellations and recommended footfall reduction limiting capacity due to COVID-19, patients reaching out with PDR complications were promptly referred to HES and appropriate treatments carried out with COVID-19 precautions as recommended.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Diabetic Retinopathy , COVID-19/complications , Communicable Disease Control , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Diabetic Retinopathy/diagnosis , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Diabetic Retinopathy/therapy , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine
8.
Retina ; 42(4): 616-627, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575997

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns on the outcomes of eyes treated for neovascular age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, and retinal vein occlusion in eight countries. METHODS: A multicenter international database study of 5,782 eyes (4,708 patients) receiving intravitreal antivascular endothelial growth factor injections before, during, and after national lockdowns. The baseline visit was defined as the last visit within 3 months before lockdown, and prelockdown and postlockdown periods were defined as 6 months before and after the lockdown date. RESULTS: Eyes with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (n = 4,649) lost vision in all countries in proportion to the reduced number of injections. The mean visual acuity change postlockdown ranged from -0.4 to -3.8 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution letters, and the median number of injections/visits decreased from 4-5/4-7 to 2-4/2-4 postlockdown. The diabetic macular edema (n = 654) and retinal vein occlusion (n = 479) eyes' mean visual acuity change ranged from -2.8 to +1.7 letters and -1.6 to +0.1 letters, and the median number of injections/visits decreased from 2.5-5/4-6 to 1-3/2-4 and from 3-5.5/4-5 to 1-3.5/2-3.5, respectively. The 6-month dropout rates postlockdown were 20% for neovascular age-related macular degeneration, 27% for diabetic macular edema, and 28% for retinal vein occlusion. CONCLUSION: This international study provides estimates of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on intravitreal therapy and suggests that prioritizing neovascular age-related macular degeneration eyes seems appropriate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetic Retinopathy , Macular Edema , Angiogenesis Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Blindness/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Diabetic Retinopathy/complications , Diabetic Retinopathy/drug therapy , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Humans , Intravitreal Injections , Macular Edema/drug therapy , Macular Edema/epidemiology , Pandemics , Ranibizumab/therapeutic use , Registries , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(22)2021 11 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524011

ABSTRACT

Complete patient adherence to treatment for diabetic retinopathy (DR) is critical to limit vision loss. There is a dearth of evidence regarding the reasons why South African patients referred for suspected vision-threatening DR stay compliant to or default their treatment. The current study sought to explore factors associated with treatment compliance among patients living with diabetes who have been referred for suspected vision-threatening DR in the Northern/Tygerberg sub-Structure (NTSS) public health care system of Cape Town, South Africa. A qualitative research approach was used where semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 13 adult patients living with DR, and 2 key informants who are primary eye care providers. Thematic data analysis was conducted using taguette.org. Fear of going blind was the most notable patient-related factor associated with compliance. Notable patient-related barriers reported were forgetfulness and a poor state of health. Notable institution-related barriers included suboptimal information received from health care service providers, poor referral management by the organisation delivering retinal screening services, as well as the inaccessibility of the main NTSS hospital via telephone calls. All these factors were confirmed by the key informants of the current study. Finally, all patients and key informants agreed that SARS-CoV-2 negatively affected patients' adherence to their DR treatment. Hence, scaling up of health care, referral, and appointment setting services could increase the uptake of treatment and retinal screenings among patients attending the Cape Town, NTSS public health care system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Diabetic Retinopathy , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Humans , Patient Compliance , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
10.
Indian J Ophthalmol ; 69(11): 2944-2950, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497536

ABSTRACT

Of all the eye conditions in the contemporary Indian context, diabetic retinopathy (DR) attracts the maximum attention not just of the eye care fraternity but the entire medical fraternity. Countries are at different stages of evolution in structured DR screening services. In most low and middle income countries, screening is opportunistic, while in most of the high income countries structured population-based DR screening is the established norm. To reduce inequities in access, it is important that all persons with diabetes are provided equal access to DR screening and management services. Such programs have been proven to reverse the magnitude of vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy in countries like England and Scotland. DR screening should not be considered an endpoint in itself but the starting point in a continuum of services for effective management of DR services so that the risk of vision loss can be mitigated. Till recently all DR screening programs in India were opportunistic models where persons with diabetes visiting an eye care facility were screened. Since 2016, with support from International funders, demonstration models integrating DR screening services in the public health system were initiated. These pilots showed that a systematic integrated structured DR screening program is possible in India and need to be scaled up across the country. Many DR screening and referral initiatives have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and advocacy with the government is critical to facilitate continuous sustainable services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Diabetic Retinopathy , Diabetic Retinopathy/diagnosis , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Humans , India/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Diabetes Res Clin Pract ; 177: 108902, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252663

ABSTRACT

AIMS: To study the possibility of constructing a remote interpretation system for retinal images. METHODS: An ultra-widefield (UWF) retinal imaging device was installed in the internal medicine department specializing in diabetes to obtain fundus images of patients with diabetes. Remote interpretation was conducted at Nagoya City University using a cloud server. The medical data, severity of retinopathy, and frequency of ophthalmologic visits were analyzed. RESULTS: Four hundred ninety-nine patients (mean age, 62.5 ± 13.4 years) were included. The duration of diabetes in 240 (48.1%) patients was less than 10 years and 433 (86.7%) patients had a hemoglobin (Hb) A1c below 8%. Regarding the retinopathy severity, 360 (72.1%) patients had no diabetic retinopathy (NDR), 63 (12.6%) mild nonproliferative retinopathy (NPDR), 38 (7.64%) moderate NPDR, 13 (2.6%) severe NPDR, and 25 (5.0%) PDR. Two hundred forty-one (48.3%) patients had an ophthalmologic consultation within 1 year, 104 (20.8%) had no history of an ophthalmologic consultation. DR was not present in 86 (82.7%) patients who had never had an ophthalmologic examination, 30 (78.9%) patients with severe NPDR or PDR had had an ophthalmologic visit within 1 year. The frequency of ophthalmic visits was correlated negatively with age, diabetes duration, HbA1c, and severity of retinopathy. CONCLUSION: Remote interpretation of DR using UWF retinal imaging was useful for retinopathy screening. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a remote screening system that can ensure compulsory social distancing and reduce the number of ophthalmic visits can be a safe system for patients and clinicians.


Subject(s)
Diabetes Mellitus , Diabetic Retinopathy , Remote Consultation , Aged , COVID-19 , Diabetic Retinopathy/diagnostic imaging , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Fluorescein Angiography , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics
12.
Am J Ophthalmol ; 227: 222-230, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252395

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if a mobile application, the Checkup Vision Assessment System, could reliably monitor visual acuity (VA) and metamorphopsia remotely versus standard VA reference tests in the clinic. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, an even greater need for remote monitoring exists. Mobile tools enhance the ability to monitor patients virtually by enabling remote monitoring of VA and Amsler grid findings. DESIGN: Prospective, multicenter reliability analysis. METHODS: Participants: Patients (N = 108) with near corrected VA better than 20/200 and a diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or healthy patients without retinal disease (best-corrected visual acuity [BCVA] of 20/32 or better). INTERVENTION: participants were tested using the Checkup, reference VA, and Amsler tests, with the order of testing (Checkup or reference) randomized. Patients monitored their vision using Checkup at least twice a week at home between office visits. Main outcome measurements were near corrected VA and Amsler grid test results. RESULTS: Agreement was strong between Checkup and reference tests for VA (r = 0.86) and Amsler grid (sensitivity: 93%; specificity: 92%). Home versus clinic testing showed excellent agreement (r = 0.96). Patients reported successful home use. There were no serious adverse events or discontinuations. Patients rated the usability of Checkup to be excellent. CONCLUSIONS: There was good agreement between Checkup and in-clinic test results for VA and Amsler grid. The low variance of Checkup testing, agreement between in-clinic and home results, and excellent usability support Checkup as a reliable method for monitoring retinal pathology in clinic and home settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetic Retinopathy/physiopathology , Macular Degeneration/physiopathology , Mobile Applications , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Visual Acuity , Visual Fields/physiology , Aged , Comorbidity , Diabetic Retinopathy/diagnosis , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Macular Degeneration/diagnosis , Macular Degeneration/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11085, 2021 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246390

ABSTRACT

To describe the medium-term ophthalmological findings in patients recovering from COVID-19. Patients recovered from the acute phase of COVID-19 underwent a complete ophthalmological evaluation, including presenting and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), refractometry, biomicroscopy, tonometry, break-up time and Schirmer tests, indirect ophthalmoscopy, color fundus picture, and retinal architecture evaluation using optical coherence tomography. Socio-demographic data and personal medical history were also collected. According to the severity of systemic manifestations, patients were classified into mild-to-moderate, severe, and critical. Sixty-four patients (128 eyes) were evaluated 82 ± 36.4 days after the onset of COVID's symptoms. The mean ± SD duration of hospitalization was 15.0 ± 10.7 days. Seven patients (10.9%) had mild-to-moderate, 33 (51.5%) severe, and 24 (37.5%) critical disease. Median [interquartile ranges (IQR)] presenting visual acuity was 0.1 (0-0.2) and BCVA 0 (0-0.1). Anterior segment biomicroscopy was unremarkable, except for dry eye disease, verified in 10.9% of them. The mean ± SD intraocular pressure (IOP) in critical group (14.16 ± 1.88 mmHg) was significantly higher than in severe group (12.51 ± 2.40 mmHg), both in the right (p 0.02) and left eyes (p 0.038). Among all, 15.6% had diabetic retinopathy, and two patients presented with discrete white-yellowish dots in the posterior pole, leading to hyporreflective changes at retinal pigment epithelium level, outer segment, and ellipsoid layers. The present study identified higher IOP among critical cases, when compared to severe cases, and discrete outer retina changes 80 days after COVID-19 infection. No sign of uveitis was found.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Eye Diseases/epidemiology , Retinal Pigment Epithelium/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , Disease Progression , Humans , Intraocular Pressure , Middle Aged , Ophthalmoscopy , Retrospective Studies , Survivors , Visual Acuity
15.
Ophthalmol Retina ; 5(10): 975-980, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002942

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To examine the effect of delay in care on visual acuity (VA) in patients requiring intravitreal injections (IVIs). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Patients 18 years of age or older with diabetic macular edema (DME), proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), or both; neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD); or retinal vein occlusion (RVO) scheduled to see a retina specialist during the mandated lockdown period (March 14 - May 4, 2020 [the coronavirus disease 2019 period]) and who had received an IVI in the 12 weeks prior. METHODS: Chart review was performed and demographics, diagnoses, procedures, and VA were recorded. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: VA in patients who completed, canceled, and no-showed for the scheduled visit. RESULTS: Of the 1041 total patients, 620 (60%) completed the scheduled visit, whereas 376 (36%) canceled and 45 (4%) no-showed. In patients who missed the visit, the average delay in care was 5.34 weeks. In those who missed a visit, VA was assessed at the subsequent visit. Patients who canceled a visit were older, and patients who no-showed had lower baseline vision (mean Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study letters ± standard error [SE]: no-show, 53.27 ± 3.21 letters; canceled, 60.79 ± 1.11 letters; and completed, 62.81 ± 0.84 letters; P = 0.0101) and were more likely to have DME, PDR, or both (no-show, 13 patients [29%]; canceled, 56 patients [16%]; completed, 81 patients [13%]; P = 0.0456). Patients who missed a visit lost vision as compared with the patients who completed one (no-show, -5.024 ± 1.88 letters; canceled, -1.633 ± 0.65 letters; completed, 0.373 ± 0.50 letters; P = 0.0028). Patients with DME, PDR, or both (-3.48 ± 1.95 letters vs. 2.71 ± 1.75 letters; P = 0.0203), with RVO (-3.22 ± 1.41 letters vs. 0.95 ± 1.23 letters; P = 0.0230), and, to lesser degree, with nAMD (-1.23 ± 0.70 letters vs. -0.24 ± 0.56 letters; P = 0.2679) lost vision compared with patients with same diagnoses who completed the scheduled visit. CONCLUSIONS: In patients requiring IVIs, a delay in care of 5.34 weeks resulted in vision loss. It was seen in all patients, but was more prominent in patients with DME, PDR or both and RVO. Further studies are necessary to examine whether these vision changes persist over a longer duration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetic Retinopathy/drug therapy , Macular Edema/drug therapy , Ranibizumab/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2 , Time-to-Treatment/trends , Visual Acuity , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiogenesis Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Comorbidity , Diabetic Retinopathy/complications , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Intravitreal Injections , Macula Lutea/pathology , Macular Edema/epidemiology , Macular Edema/etiology , Male , Middle Aged , Ohio/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Time Factors , Tomography, Optical Coherence , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/antagonists & inhibitors
17.
Klin Monbl Augenheilkd ; 237(12): 1400-1408, 2020 Dec.
Article in English, German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-962241

ABSTRACT

The customary doctor and patient interactions are currently undergoing significant changes through technological advances in imaging and data processing and the need for reducing person-to person contacts during the COVID-19 crisis. There is a trend away from face-to-face examinations to virtual assessments and decision making. Ophthalmology is particularly amenable to such changes, as a high proportion of clinical decisions are based on routine tests and imaging results, which can be assessed remotely. The uptake of digital ophthalmology varies significantly between countries. Due to financial constraints within the National Health Service, specialized ophthalmology units in the UK have been early adopters of digital technology. For more than a decade, patients have been managed remotely in the diabetic retinopathy screening service and virtual glaucoma clinics. We describe the day-to-day running of such services and the doctor and patient experiences with digital ophthalmology in daily practice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Diabetic Retinopathy , Glaucoma , Ophthalmology , Diabetic Retinopathy/diagnosis , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Diabetic Retinopathy/therapy , Glaucoma/diagnosis , Glaucoma/therapy , Humans , Mass Screening , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , United Kingdom
18.
J Diabetes Res ; 2020: 9036847, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894922

ABSTRACT

Recently, telemedicine has become remarkably important, due to increased deployment and development of digital technologies. National and international guidelines should consider its inclusion in their updates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, mandatory social distancing and the lack of effective treatments has made telemedicine the safest interactive system between patients, both infected and uninfected, and clinicians. A few potential evidence-based scenarios for the application of telemedicine have been hypothesized. In particular, its use in diabetes and complication monitoring has been remarkably increasing, due to the high risk of poor prognosis. New evidence and technological improvements in telemedicine application in diabetic retinopathy (DR) have demonstrated efficacy and usefulness in screening. Moreover, despite an initial increase for devices and training costs, teleophthalmology demonstrated a good cost-to-efficacy ratio; however, no national screening program has yet focused on DR prevention and diagnosis. Lack of data during the COVID-19 pandemic strongly limits the possibility of tracing the real management of the disease, which is only conceivable from past evidence in normal conditions. The pandemic further stressed the importance of remote monitoring. However, the deployment of device and digital application used to increase screening of individuals and monitor progression of retinal disease needs to be easily accessible to general practitioners.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Diabetic Retinopathy/diagnosis , Diabetic Retinopathy/therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Telemedicine , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology , Humans , Mass Screening/economics , Mass Screening/methods , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Mass Screening/trends , Ophthalmology/economics , Ophthalmology/methods , Ophthalmology/organization & administration , Ophthalmology/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards , Telemedicine/trends
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