Revolutionizing Retinal Diagnostics
According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by chronically high blood sugar from diabetes, which damages small blood vessels in the retina, distorting vision and ultimately leading to blindness.
Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends people with diabetes get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. However, more than 50 percent of those with diabetes donâ€™t get recommended annual vision screens.
Herein lies the problem. Optometrists and ophthalmologists perform the retinal screenings, not primary care physicians who typically help patients manage diabetes. The primary care physician provides the patient with a referral, but due to the volume of patients and under supply of eye specialists, appointments for eye exams can be delayed for months. The delay in screening often leads to non-compliance (patients get tired of waiting) and increased risk. The current system, which relies on eye specialists to conduct what should be a routine screening, is very costly for patients, providers and insurance companies.
VisionQuest i-Rx seeks to revolutionize diabetic retinopathy diagnostics with the EYESTAR™ automated reading system that enables primary care physicians to provide critical retinal screenings that yield immediate results during the patient’s annual exam. This new capability promises to decrease referral volumes, improve the rate of early diagnosis and reduce overall cost of care of diabetic retinopathy, while creating a new revenue stream for primary care physicians.