Dr. Seema Garg's research on Telemedicine and Retinal Imaging was recently featured online at the "Archives of Internal Medicine" website. According to the research:
"Early detection of diabetic retinopathy (DR) is crucial to prevent blindness. Timely intervention with laser therapy can reduce the risk of severe vision loss by more than 90%. Despite well-accepted national and international guidelines, on average, less than 50% of patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) undergo screening for retinopathy in the United States. Barriers to care include socioeconomic factors, geography, lack of patient education, and cultural barriers among minorities.
Telemedicine is an emerging strategy for improving DR screening through retinal imaging with remote expert interpretation. Introducing this technology at the point of care of the primary care physician could substantially reduce barriers and improve early detection of retinopathy. Outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system, effectiveness data for telemedicine screening in the United States is limited.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of telemedicine on DR screening in a primary care setting with a diverse patient and payer mix. Predictors of DR were determined by analyzing clinical patient characteristics obtained at the time of image acquisition."
The full article can be found here.