20/20NOW, an innovator of Ocular Telehealth, announced the use of Artificial Intelligence to help detect retinal diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, at an earlier stage. With FDA approved equipment and software, 20/20NOW uses retinal images that are enhanced using an AI program. This allows optometrists the ability to diagnose patients with more confidence in areas that affect the retina.
In traditional testing, retinopathy can go undetected in the early stages. Diabetes is quite wide spread, but now optometrists working with the Ocular Telehealth System can identify diabetic retinopathy and refer patients for treatment, ultimately preventing blindness or other health complications.
According to the World Health Organization, in the U.S., one out of 11 Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, and one out of three Americans have pre-diabetes, but most do not know it yet. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S., with 12,000 to 24,000 new cases occurring each year. Approximately half of these individuals with Type 2 diabetes receive an annual eye examination. Factors suggest that emerging telemedicine ocular screenings could offer a cost-effective way to increase access to eye care. The combination of AI and fundus imaging could also help increase care to patients with diabetes and provide earlier detection of diabetic retinopathy to prevent vision loss.
“While other technology advancements are being used to bypass eye care providers, 20/20NOW is working with optometrists by providing the best tools to diagnose refractive and ocular medical conditions,” said Bryan M. Rogoff, 20/20NOW’s Subject Matter Advisor. “By also providing optometrists with Artificial Intelligence to enhance retinal images, they’re able to diagnose with more confidence during a telehealth examination. This is just one example of 20/20NOW’s advancement within Ocular Telehealth exams. Keeping the clinical assessment and control with the optometrist is paramount for patients, providers and payers. This strategy increases the sensitivity and efficacy of the exams, which ultimately lower healthcare costs.”