Patients diagnosed with diabetes are now having their eyes checked for a leading cause of blindness using AI. IDx-DR, an FDA-cleared AI system, can detect diabetic retinopathy and doesn’t require a physician to interpret the images or results. This means patients who are at high risk for the blinding eye disease can be tested in non-eye care settings.
Previously, Madhu Mohan, MD, an endocrinologist at Riverside Medical Associates, did not have the ability to test his patients for diabetic retinopathy without first referring them to an eye care facility. Like many healthcare provides, many of his patients did not go to their annual eye exam, and he was worried some of his patients were developing blindness, yet not being tested. Now, Mohan can use the device to test his patients during regularly scheduled visits.
“In the short time we’ve been using IDx-DR, we’ve already identified patients we believe may have disease that has gone undetected for years. This is a bomb shell – a truly eye-opening experience – that helped confirm my decision to adopt the system,” said Dr. Mohan. “There is an enormous care gap we can’t ignore.”
Over 30 million Americans have diabetes, and approximately 24,000 lose their vision from diabetic retinopathy. If caught in the early stages, vision loss and blindness are almost entirely preventable, yet only about half of people diagnosed with diabetes get annual eye exams.
Now, a diabetes education center at a hospital in New Orleans, LA has also adopted IDx-DR to test for diabetic retinopathy. Their goal is to increase the number of patients they test from 10 to 13 to over 20 a day.
Currently, IDx-DR is used in the following care settings:
- Endocrinology clinics
- Internal medicine clinics
- Diabetes education centers
- Diagnostic labs
- Community health clinics
- Diabetes research groups
“It is exciting to see such a wide range of healthcare settings – most who were previously unable to provide eye care services – now using an autonomous AI system to test patients for diabetic retinopathy, without needing the involvement of telemedicine or an eye care specialist,” said Michael Abramoff, MD, PhD, founder and CEO of IDx. “We need to make it easier for patients to be tested and that means meeting them where they are already receiving their care. IDx-DR can be placed in whatever setting that might be.”