Diabetic Macular Edema
“Time to Treatment Utilizing a Tele-Retinal Referral System for wAMD and DME: A Pilot Study”
In this province, optometrists are often responsible for contacting the retinal specialists' office to arrange patients to be examined for suspected emergencies or more routine referrals related to the eye. This is often done by faxing a referral form to the specialists' office, where the retinal specialist will examine the information presented in the referral form and make a decision on when the patient should be seen. This current method has some important considerations, such as the difficulty of transmitting clear images of the back of the eye over fax. Having this information could help the retinal specialist in determining when the patient should be seen, especially in terms of booking additional tests or when treatment should be given. Teleophthalmology is a branch of telemedicine that delivers eye care through digital equipment and telecommunications technology. It offers some unique advantages, such as the ability to be integrated with electronic health records, the ability to be viewed by multiple members of the health care team, and potentially reduce wait times and travel times to the ophthalmologist. However, there is no comparison known to the study team between whether patients being referred from optometrists to retina specialists through a teleophthalmology system will be treated earlier than patients through a conventional fax system. This study aims to examine and provide more information on this topic.
Time to Treatment Utilizing a Tele-Retinal Referral System for Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Macular Edema: A Pilot Study