November is National Diabetes Month. Many of this month’s events encourage those with diabetes to pay special attention to their vision health. The problem? Forecasts suggest that increasing numbers of diabetic patients will have difficulty accessing vision screening and care. Recent developments in telemedicine are pointing the way to a solution.
More Patients, Not Enough Vision Care Providers
There are an estimated 415 million people in the world with diabetes. That population will climb to 642 million by 2040. The 104 million diabetes patients now in North America and Europe will grow at a slower rate, but by 2040 will still total over 132 million people.
The public health issues presented by diabetes are numerous, but vision care is of particular concern. Some level of diabetic retinopathy (DR) will affect as many as 40% of those with diabetes. Of these, a significant percentage will develop diabetic macular edema (DME). Complicating the picture is the high rate of undiagnosed diabetes – it’s estimated at over 27% of cases in the US. Finally, early stage DR is often asymptomatic, giving patients no reason to seek vision care.
November is National Diabetes Month. It’s a time to reflect on the growing incidence of diabetes in North America, Europe, and the rest of the world. If you’re committed to superior diagnosis and care, here are two reasons why your ever-increasing number of diabetic patients need ultra-widefield imaging.
The starting point is a stark set of numbers. Globally there are an estimated 415 million people with diabetes, a number expected to grow to 642 million by 2040. In North America and Europe, similar stories: a total of 104 patients million today, increasing more than 26% to 132 million by 2040. Up to 40% of affected individuals will develop some level of diabetic retinopathy (DR). A significant percentage will develop diabetic macular edema (DME). All of these people will need visual health screening and supervision for the rest of their lives.
Reasons to Use Ultra-widefield For Your Diabetic Patients
Reason #1: Ultra-widefield (UWF™) imaging technology provides you with a more complete diagnostic picture.
The gold standard for assessing the presence and severity of DR and DME is ETDRS seven standard field imagery (7SF). How does UWF imaging compare? The most significant difference is diagnostic reach. UWF imaging presents …
The diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) are in a period of rapid evolution. While existing DR and DME treatment standards remain important points of reference, the future directions for these standards are coming into focus. The combination of new imaging tools – specifically ultra-widefield (UWF™) imaging – and more individualized treatment plans may result in earlier diagnoses, better patient management plans, and improved treatment outcomes.
Bringing Diagnosis into the 21st Century
Perhaps the biggest change in DR diagnosis and management is the growing use of ultra-widefield imaging.
UWF imaging has been proven in studies to be clinically equivalent to conventional ETDRS seven field color imaging (7SF) in the grading of DR for central pole disease. More recent studies have shown that UWF may be superior to ETDRS in that it captures a much wider (200 degrees), view of the retina. This provides diagnostic information about the peripheral retina that is impossible to visualize using conventional imaging. Starting with color (red and green) optomap® imaging, Optos has systematically extended its UWF-based technology into a multi-modal platform that supports fundus autofluorescence(optomap af), fluorescein angiography(optomap fa) and indocyanine green angiography (optomap icg).