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Blog: Automated Screening Workflow Management Solution Enables Improved Clinical Outcomes with Higher Cost-Efficiency

OPTOMED have been a part of the IAPB Standard List for around 10 years. The case study outlines details of their Optomed LINK web-based telemedicine solution.

The World Health Organization has estimated that Diabetic retinopathy (DR), which is an eye disease caused by diabetes mellitus, is responsible for 4.8% of global blindness (1). It affects up to 80% of those who have had diabetes for 20 years or more (2). At the same time, it has been estimated that at least 90% of new cases could be reduced with proper monitoring and treatment of the eyes (3). Furthermore, several studies have shown, that proper and well-organized management of DR would also be cost-efficient (4). So, one can conclude that, proper management of DR would both improve health of diabetic population and create savings on health expenditure. Still, great majority of the world’s diabetic population do not receive the recommended eye examinations (5).

Screening for DR
Screening for DR

Optomed Plc. has been designing and manufacturing mobile fundus cameras for more than ten years and it is one of the leaders in the industry. A few years ago, Optomed expanded its product offering to telemedicine and screening management solutions. Optomed LINK is a web-based telemedicine solution for smooth image and information transfer between the site of capturing and interpreting the image whereas Optomed SCREEN (Figure 2) is a complete screening programme management solution enabling automated and paperless screening programme coordination. So, nowadays Optomed is a one-stop-shop e.g. for DR screening programmes seeking for reliable clinical outcomes and optimized efficiency.

Figure 2: Optomed SCREEN automates the screening process starting with automated scheduling and invitation procedure. The screening data, i.e. digital retinal images are captured and then stored in a server that can be accessed for analysis by physicians or trained graders from anywhere. Optomed SCREEN contains also statistical tools to monitor the program performance. It can be used to optimize resourcing, and plan e.g. personnel trainings or even targeted public awareness campaigns in the regions where screening is not successful. All in all, the automated screening management process improves efficiency and enables better clinical outcomes.

Digifundus is the leading private provider of diabetic retinopathy screening and follow-up services in the Nordic Countries. In Finland they serve more than 10 healthcare districts in over 130 municipalities all around the geographically challenging country. Digifundus and Optomed have collaborated for more than 10 years. With Optomed’s support Digifundus has been able to establish a completely paperless and highly automated service to its customers. The eye specialists reports and eye images are either delivered from the Optomed SCREEN service or transferred automatically from the central server to the end customers’ hospital information system. Optomed SCREEN has also enabled Digifundus to make other processes more efficient, allowing it to provide additional services to its end customers (Figure 3).

Jouni Keltanen

Figure 3: Jouni Keltanen, CEO of Digifundus, has been using Optomed SCREEN for more than ten years. According to Mr. Keltanen working together with Optomed in developing and fine-tuning the IT solution to meet the needs of end-customers allows Digifundus to better serve their customers from the public and private healthcare sector in the Nordic Countries.

It is widely acknowledged that DR should be screened for, and proper screening management would both improve health of diabetic population and generate savings on overall health expenditure. However, it is regrettable that too low proportion of the diabetic population is being screened regularly. One of the main reasons being poor accessibility of the screening centres. Optomed is doing its share to solve the accessibility issue by providing a solution consisting of mobile non-mydriatic Optomed Aurora camera and screening workflow management system, Optomed SCREEN. The solution brings DR screening to people and at the same time generates efficiency through automated processes, telemedicine and even AI-based analysis.

References:

1 World Health Organization. Vision impairment and blindness. Media centre, Fact Sheet, October 2017, www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets

2 Kertes PJ, Johnson TM, eds. (2007). Evidence Based Eye Care. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

3 Tapp RJ; Shaw JE; Harper CA; de Courten MP, Balkau B, McCarty DJ, Taylor HR, Welbom TA, Zimmer PZ; AusDiab Study Group (2003) The prevalence of and factors associated with diabetic retinopathy in the Australian population. Diabetes Care. 26: 1731-1737.

4. Pasquel FJ, Hendrick AM, Ryan M, Cason E, Ali MK, Narayan KM (2015) Cost-effectiveness of Different Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Modalities. J Diabetes Sci Technol 10: 301-307.

5. Mukamel DB, Bresnick GH, Wang Q, Dickey CF (1999) Barriers to compliance with screening guidelines for diabetic retinopathy. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 6: 61-72.

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