Digital Ophthalmology in the UK - Diabetic Retinopathy Screening and Virtual Glaucoma Clinics in the National Health Service
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.
Heimann H., Broadbent D, Cheeseman R. Digital Ophthalmology in the UK - Diabetic Retinopathy Screening and Virtual Glaucoma Clinics in the National Health Service. Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 2020;237(12):1400-1408. doi: 10.1055/a-1300-7779.