The Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology

Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology:

Issue 1, January/February 2018 Review Article

The Role of Teleophthalmology in the Management of Diabetic Retinopathy

Salongcay, Recivall P.; Silva, Paolo S.



Author Information


From the *Department of Ophthalmology, The Medical City, Pasig City, Philippines; †Beetham Eye Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts; ‡Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; and §Philippine Eye Research Institute, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.


Reprints: Paolo S. Silva, MD, Beetham Eye Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center, 1 Joslin Place, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215. E-mail: paoloantonio.silva@joslin.harvard.edu.



Abstract


The emergence of diabetes as a global epidemic is accompanied by the rise in diabetes‑related retinal complications. Diabetic retinopathy, if left undetected and untreated, can lead to severe visual impairment and affect an individual's productivity and quality of life. Globally, diabetic retinopathy remains one of the leading causes of visual loss in the working‑age population. Teleophthalmology for diabetic retinopathy is an innovative means of retinal evaluation that allows identification of eyes at risk for visual loss, thereby preserving vision and decreasing the overall burden to the health care system. Numerous studies worldwide have found teleophthalmology to be a reliable and cost‑efficient alternative to traditional clinical examinations. It has reduced barriers to access to specialized eye care in both rural and urban communities. In teleophthalmology applications for diabetic retinopathy, it is critical that standardized protocols in image acquisition and evaluation are used to ensure low image ungradable rates and maintain the quality of images taken. Innovative imaging technology such as ultrawide field imaging has the potential to provide significant benefit with integration into teleophthalmology programs. Teleophthalmology programs for diabetic retinopathy rely on a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach with partnerships across specialties and health care professionals to attain wider acceptability and allow evidence‑based eye care to reach a much broader population.




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