“Golimumab” Helps Kids and Youth Newly Diagnosed with T1D

December 3, 2020

 

It might be tricky to pronounce at first, but a human monoclonal antibody, called golimumab (gō-lim-yü-mab), can help kids and young adults with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes, according to new research. The fact that golimumab has been approved to treat a number of autoimmune conditions in both the adult and pediatric populations, led to curiosity over whether the drug could help patients with type 1 diabetes. The small proof of concept study strongly suggests that golimumab can indeed reduce the amount of injected insulin required by children and youth with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes by preserving their ability to produce insulin on their own, called endogenous insulin.

 

The study is the culmination of decades of work conducted at the University at Buffalo in New York State and at the Diabetes Center at UBMD Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital. The main goal of the study was to see if golimumab could preserve beta-cell function in newly diagnosed patients, which it does, for as it seems at least a year after diagnosis.

 

Beta cells are unique cells in the pancreas that produce and secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream to regulate levels of glucose. When blood glucose levels start to rise (e.g., during digestion), beta cells quickly respond by secreting some of their stored insulin. This quick response to a spike in blood glucose usually takes about ten minutes. In people with diabetes, however, these cells are either attacked and destroyed by the immune system or are unable to produce enough insulin needed for blood sugar control.

 

In addition to insulin, beta cells also secrete the hormone Amylin and so called C-peptide, a byproduct of insulin production. Amylin slows the rate of glucose entering the bloodstream, making it a more short-term regulator of blood glucose levels. C-peptide is a molecule that helps to prevent neuropathy and other vascular complications by assisting in the repair of the muscular layers of the arteries.

 

The most important finding in the recent study is that golimumab is a potential disease-modifying agent for newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. The team determined that beta-cell function was preserved based on the amount of C-peptide in patients’ blood during a four-hour mixed meal tolerance test. Because C-peptide reflects only insulin made by the body and not injected insulin, C-peptide levels reveal how well the pancreas is producing insulin.

 

The findings represent a major step forward in the effort to find ways to preserve the insulin-making capabilities of children and young adults with type 1 diabetes. Patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes don’t stop making insulin all of a sudden. During the period just after diagnosis, called partial remission or the honeymoon period, patients are still able to make some insulin on their own. That is the period the scientists targeted with this study of golimumab.

 

Although none of the patients were able to stop taking insulin entirely, the results have important clinical implications. The need for less injected insulin is a major quality of life improvement and carries advantages, including lower rates of hypoglycemia. The scientists believe that the golimumab results represent another tangible step towards achieving the ultimate goal of developing therapies that will one day prevent and reverse type 1 diabetes. “People want a cure, but the fact is, a cure is not available yet. But this is an intermediate step towards a cure” according to one of the lead authors.

 

Based on these promising results, the research team have planned future studies seeking to determine if golimumab can be given even earlier in the disease process to more effectively prevent or delay type 1 diabetes in high risk patients. So, stay tuned for some more exciting news to come.

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Plant-based Diet – Try It Over the Holidays!

November 24, 2020

 

It’s that wonderful time of year again! Time to celebrate Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s and other wonderful holiday occasions, as we say ‘farewell’ to a very challenging year. Time to see, even if virtually, family and friends, laugh and share tender moments.

 

The well-earned celebration often revolves around food. People with diabetes know that food choices play a critical role in regulating blood sugar and what we eat plays a major role in inflammation, insulin resistance, and other diabetes risk factors.  Indeed, healthy eating can be the number one tool in managing and even preventing type 2 diabetes.

 

One way to eat healthier is to follow a plant-based diet, which focuses on whole grains, legumes, fruit, and vegetables and limits meat and dairy. Decades of research has proven that a plant-based diet can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. Now, groundbreaking case studies indicate that the same may be true for those with type 1 diabetes.

 

Popular wisdom says that diabetes and plant-based eating don’t mix, as plant foods have carbs, after all. But plant-based eating can deliver diabetes-protective benefits via:

 

  • Weight management — Vegetarians tend to have a lower BMI (body mass index.) Plant foods are high in fiber and volume, making it easier to feel full on fewer calories. Weight loss reduces insulin resistance, meaning your body can use its own insulin more effectively.

 

  • Heart health — People with diabetes generally have a higher risk of developing heart disease. Whole food, plant-based diets can help reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

 

  • Protective nutrients — Nuts, seeds, deep green veggies, and whole grains are especially high in magnesium, a nutrient linked with a lower risk of diabetes. These and other plant foods can help with insulin sensitivity.

 

Moving towards a plant-based eating plan can start with simply adding more veggies to one meal per day or “going vegetarian” for one meal per week. These and other small steps toward a plant-based diet can make a big difference in your health status. Fruits and vegetable are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, which serve as an overall health protector.

 

It’s as simple as a shopping list. A plant-based eating plan lends itself to consuming foods that are higher in fiber – whole grains, fruits, vegetables and even plant-based proteins, which include legumes (think lentils and chickpeas), beans (from black beans to lima beans), soy (edamame, tofu, tempeh) and nuts and seeds (peanuts, peanut butter, almonds, almond butter, pistachios, walnuts, chia seeds) all fit the mold.

 

A randomized control study of people with type 2 diabetes compared the effects of two eating plans: a low-fat vegan plan versus an eating plan that controls carbohydrates and restricts calories. Those following the vegan plan revealed greater improvement in glycemic control, lipid levels and weight loss. Almost half of the participants on the vegan plan were able to reduce their type 2 diabetes medications.

 

It isn’t all or nothing. You can start by adding a few more vegetables and fruits to your meals. Then move to swapping one animal protein with a plant protein. A plant-based eating plan can mean less meat, not meatless.

 

One thing to note – if you decide to take all animal-based proteins off your meal plan, you’ll be missing some good sources of vitamin D. Speak with your doctor about adding a vitamin D supplement to your daily routine and check your blood sugar before a meal and two hours after the start of eating to evaluate if the eating plan is working well for you.

 

So, enjoy the upcoming festivities and make sure you fill your plate with lots of vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, broccoli or Brussels sprouts.

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New Guidelines on Safe Exercise for People with Diabetes Type 1

November 19, 2020

 

Regular exercise is an important part of good diabetes management as it lowers blood glucose levels and boosts the body’s sensitivity to insulin, countering insulin resistance. Recent research suggests that exercise can even slow or prevent the development of macular degeneration and may benefit other common causes of vision loss, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

 

For people with diabetes type 1 it is important to address how to balance blood glucose levels during and after exercise. The blood sugar response can be difficult to predict, with exercise sometimes increasing the risk of falling blood sugar levels — known as hypoglycaemia — or other times causing blood sugar to rise. Glucose levels must be closely monitored, since having a “hypo” which can lead to dizziness, disorientation, anxiety, etc., is a major barrier stopping people with diabetes from incorporating exercise into daily life.

 

Many experts recommend that people with type 1 diabetes, who want to maintain an active lifestyle, exercise when their blood glucose levels are normal or modestly elevated, but not when circulating insulin concentrations are raised, such as shortly after a bolus or prandial dose of insulin. Finding the right balance can be challenging.

 

An international team of experts have laid out the world’s first standard guidance on how people with diabetes can use modern glucose monitoring devices to help them exercise safely. Due to the complexity of the glucose monitoring systems, both individuals with diabetes and their healthcare professionals may struggle with their interpretation of information. That’s one of the main reasons the guidelines were developed.

 

The guidelines look at the evidence from glucose monitoring technology and use it as the basis for clear guidance for exercise in adults, children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. The guidance covers areas like carbohydrate consumption and safe glucose thresholds. The idea is that it should serve as an initial guidance tool, which can then be tailored for the individual patient in consultation with health professionals.

 

According to one of the authors, the guidance is a landmark agreement which could end up making a real difference to people with type 1 diabetes as it will help them to obtain the health benefits of exercise, whilst minimizing wide fluctuations in their blood glucose level.

 

The guidelines include extensive advice and recommendations for exercise preparations, issues to consider during exercise and steps to bet taken post exercise. For example, the guidelines note that target sensor glucose ranges should be between 7.0 mmol/l and 10.0 mmol/l and slightly higher for those with an increased risk of hypoglycemia. If sensor glucose levels are elevated, individuals should monitor blood ketone levels, and insulin correction may be performed. It also states that exercise should be suspended if sensor glucose level reaches <3.9 mmol/l and, if below 3.0 mmol/l, exercise should not be restarted.

 

The recommendations will need to be regularly updated to provide the best and most robust evidence-based recommendations for people with type 1 diabetes using continuous glucose monitoring devices during exercise. But this first edition is already a good start.

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Coughs for COVID-19 Diagnosis and a Vaccine in Sight

November 11, 2020

 

As we and many others in the field have recorded, COVID-19 poses a more serious risk to people with underlying health conditions and chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. The numbers are alarming – a Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology study mining 61 million medical records in the United Kingdom reported that 30% of COVID-19 deaths occurred among people with diabetes.

 

Prevention and good diabetes care are the leading tactics to protect people with diabetes by controlling their blood sugar through diet, exercise, monitoring, and medication. But many don’t feel safe exercising outdoors although they know staying active and maintaining good blood sugar levels may be their best defense against COVID-19. Getting the virus under control is essential for them as it is for all of us.

 

Some very good news came out this week with the announcement of a vaccine candidate developed by Pfizer and BioNTech that is more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19. The vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no serious safety concerns have been raised. It’s expected that up to 50 million doses of the vaccine will be produced by the end of the year and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021. There are still questions to be answered, e.g. how long does immunity last, and how to deal with the significant manufacturing and logistical challenges in immunizing huge numbers of people around the world? But the announcement of the new vaccine has been warmly welcomed around the world with some suggesting life could be back to normal by spring. Let’s hope!

 

Another piece of exciting – if lower profile – news in the last few weeks is innovative technology developed at MIT that could accurately diagnose COVID 19 from your cough. This AI model distinguishes asymptomatic people who are infected with COVID-19 from healthy individuals through forced-cough recordings, which people voluntarily submit through cellphones and laptops.

 

The researchers trained the model on tens of thousands of samples of coughs, as well as spoken words. When they fed the model new cough recordings, it accurately identified 98.5 percent of coughs from people who were confirmed to have COVID-19, including 100 percent of coughs from asymptomatic people who reported they did not have symptoms but had tested positive for the virus.

 

The MIT team is working on incorporating the model into a user-friendly app, which if FDA-approved and adopted on a large scale, could be a free, convenient, non-invasive prescreening tool to identify people who are likely to be asymptomatic for COVID-19. A user could log in daily, cough into their phone, and instantly get information on whether they might be infected and therefore should confirm with a formal test. This diagnostic tool could diminish the spread of the pandemic if everyone uses it before going to a classroom, a factory, shop or a restaurant. The research team envisions their AI tool as a low-cost COVID-19 pre-screener that could be deployed in settings where comprehensive diagnostic testing is unavailable or unable to scale for entire populations. So, until the new vaccine is readily available worldwide, this novel technology will complement ongoing efforts to halt the spread of a still vicious Coronavirus.

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Hopeful News for Treating Retinal Diseases

November 4, 2020

 

Scientists in the United States have uncovered a potential new strategy for treating eye diseases that affect millions around the world, often resulting in blindness. A potential treatment based on a natural protein may offer broader benefits than existing drugs.

 

Many serious eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, feature an abnormal overgrowth of new retinal blood vessel branches, which can lead to progressive loss of vision. It’s a phenomenon called “neovascularization.” Essentially, it’s the body’s faulty attempt to restore a blood supply that has been impaired by aging, diabetes, high blood cholesterol or other factors.

 

Ophthalmologists have been treating these conditions with drugs that block a protein called VEGF or Vascular endothelial growth factor that promotes the growth of new blood vessels. VEGF forms part of the mechanism that restores the blood supply to cells and tissues when they are deprived of oxygenated blood due to compromised blood circulation. Anti-VEGF therapy have improved the treatment of these conditions, but don’t always work well and have potential safety issues.

 

The new strategy for treating eye diseases based on a natural protein, was introduced by Scripps Research scientists in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study showed that a new approach that doesn’t target VEGF directly is highly effective in mice and has broader benefits than a standard VEGF-blocking treatment.

 

Although anti-VEGF drugs stabilize or improve vision quality in most patients, about 40 percent are not significantly helped by these drugs. Moreover, researchers are concerned that the long-term blocking of VEGF, a growth factor needed for the health of many tissues including the retina, may do harm along with good. Many cases of retinal neovascularization are accompanied by the loss of tiny blood vessels elsewhere in the retina, and blocking VEGF inhibits or prevents the re-growth of these vessels.

 

There’s a different protein that naturally dials down the hypoxic response and thus might be the basis for an alternative treatment strategy. The protein, CITED2, is produced as part of the hypoxic response, and apparently functions as a “negative feedback” regulator — keeping the response from becoming too strong or staying on too long.

 

For the new study, the team of researchers conducted tests in a mouse model of retinal hypoxia and neovascularization, using a fragment of CITED2 that contains its functional, hypoxic-response-blocking elements. When a solution of the CITED2 fragment was injected into the eye, it significantly reduced neovascularization. Moreover, it did so while preserving, or allowing to re-grow, the healthy capillaries in the retina that would otherwise have been destroyed — researchers call it “vaso-obliteration” — in this model of retinal disease.

 

In the same mouse model, the researchers tested a standard anti-VEGF treatment drug called aflibercept. It helped reduce neovascularization but did not prevent the destruction of retinal capillaries. However, reducing the dose of aflibercept and combining it with the CITED2 fragment, yielded better results than either alone, strongly reducing neovascularization while preserving and restoring retinal capillaries.

 

The researchers now hope to develop the CITED2-based treatment further, with the goal of testing it in human clinical trials. Fingers crossed!

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Exercise is Crucial for a Healthy Heart

October 28, 2020

 

People with diabetes have a higher-than-average risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage the blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart and blood vessels. The longer you have diabetes, the higher the chances that you will develop heart disease. People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than someone who doesn´t have diabetes. In fact, vascular disease is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes.

 

Taking care of your diabetes and the accompanying conditions can help you lower your chances of heart and blood vessel disease. Even if you already have heart disease or have had a heart attack or a stroke, every step you take to keep your ABCs (A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol) in your target range will help lower your risk of future heart disease or a stroke.

 

What is ABC? A is for A1C. Your A1C check, which also may be reported as estimated average glucose (eAG), tells you your average blood glucose for the past two to three months. B is for blood pressure. High blood pressure makes your heart work harder than it should. C is for cholesterol. Your cholesterol numbers tell you about the amount of fat in your blood. Some kinds, like HDL cholesterol, help protect your heart. Others, like LDL cholesterol, can clog your arteries. High triglycerides raise your risk for heart attack or a stroke.

 

There are several heart-related warning signs you should keep an eye on, including chest discomfort when you walk or exercise, chest pain along with fatigue or shortness of breath, or if your heart rate is usually faster than 100 beats per minute. In case of these signs, you should seek medical attention.

 

Developing or maintaining healthy lifestyle habits can help you prevent heart disease and manage your diabetes. It is important to follow a healthy eating plan and get enough sleep. Making physical activity part of your routine is also essential.

 

A recent international study led by the University of Otago in New Zealand has revealed how exercise can reduce the chance of diabetes leading on to heart disease. It found that exercise triggers the release of small sequences of genetic code called microRNA, which increase protein production to improve heart structure and function. The researchers found that specific microRNA is adversely altered in the early stages of diabetes and can reliably predict the inevitable onset of heart disease. This is a pivotal new development as microRNA can serve as a reliable early biomarker for heart disease in diabetes. The study also showed that microRNA is a potential novel target for the therapeutic treatment of heart disease in people with diabetes.

 

This research has clear long-term benefits for the quality of life of people living with diabetes who have heart disease, as well as alleviating the economic burden associated with current treatment of diabetes. “By understanding the physiological role of microRNA, it is possible to see without doubt the positive role of exercise in preventing diabetic heart disease,” one of the lead New Zealand researchers added.

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Shed a Tear or Two for Future Diabetes Monitoring

October 22, 2020

 

Those living with diabetes don’t need to be reminded of the importance of regular monitoring of their glucose levels. It’s essential for diabetes care as it reveals the patterns of glucose changes, and helps in the planning of meals, activities, and at what time of day to take medications. In a previous blog we covered various methods to monitor glucose levels, including using saliva as a pain-free and cheaper alternative to blood for monitoring diabetes. In today’s blog, we’ll explore another emerging alternative – measuring glucose in your tears.

 

Using tears to test for biomarkers is not a new idea. In addition to protecting your eyes, tears contain a variety of large proteins and their composition can change with disease. Indeed, researchers have been exploring their usefulness in finding biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease and diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

 

A new study shows that analyzing the tears of people with diabetes could be a potential method to monitor their blood sugar levels without the need for invasive alternatives that rely on blood testing. In this research, Dr. Masakazu Aihara and colleagues at The University of Tokyo, investigated the correlation between blood and tear glucose concentrations. The team found that the glycated albumin levels in tears and blood had a strong correlation.

 

The researchers recruited 100 individuals with diabetes who had blood and tear samples collected at the same time. Researchers measured glycated albumin levels in tears with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Blood sample levels were measured through an enzymatic method. Significant correlation was found between the glycated albumin levels in tears and those in blood. Statistical analysis showed that this correlation was maintained even after adjustment for age, gender, kidney function and obesity.

 

Glycated albumin is a biomarker that reflects the 2-week average blood glucose. This might make it a greater biomarker for detecting earlier adjustments in blood glucose than glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which displays adjustments in blood glucose over the previous 2-3 months.

 

While the research results of the analysis of tears’ glycated albumin levels are promising, a tear analysis technology that is accurate, inexpensive, and accessible to people with diabetes is still to be developed. Dr. Aihara’s plan, is to optimize measurement conditions, develop appropriate equipment, and verify the effectiveness and usefulness of tear analysis as a non-invasive method for diabetes monitoring. Until then, we’ll have to rely on the traditional methods of blood glucose monitoring.

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COVID-19 Reinfections Occur – Although Rarely So Far

October 15, 2020

 

COVID-19 continues to spread and severely impact the world. People of all ages are being infected but as we have covered before, people with diabetes seem to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill as the virus can be harder to treat due to fluctuations in blood glucose levels and, possibly, the presence of diabetes complications. We are all waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine so that things can get back to normal. Meanwhile, the emphasis will continue to be on handwashing, social distancing and wearing face masks.

 

Those precautions are not only for the ones who have managed to escape the virus so far. Recent studies have confirmed at least five reinfection cases in as many countries. In a previous blog, we discussed COVID-19 immunity and if it was possible to get it twice. Now it seems that the answer is “Yes” even if it may be extremely rare and more research is required to fully understand the possibility of reinfection.

 

In one of the recent studies on a confirmed case of COVID-19 reinfection in the United States, researchers found evidence that an individual with no known immune disorders or underlying conditions was infected with COVID-19 in two separate occurrences. The patient who is a 25-year old male was infected with two distinct COVID-19 variants within a 48-day timeframe, while testing negative in between infections. After experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms again, including fever, headache, dizziness, cough, nausea, and diarrhea, the patient was hospitalized and tested positive a second time. According to the researchers, the patient’s second infection was more severe, resulting in hospitalization with oxygen support. The patient has since been discharged from the hospital and has recovered from the second infection.

 

Several hypotheses have been put forward to try to explain the severity of the second infection. One is the possibility that the patient, after having been infected for the first time, encountered a very high dose of the virus which caused a more acute reaction the second time. Another hypothesis is that the patient may have come in contact with a more virulent version of the virus.

 

In the view of the researchers, the five reinfection cases indicate that previous exposure to COVID-19 may not translate to guaranteed total immunity. But further research into reinfections is required. According to one of the lead researchers, Dr. Pandori, we need a more profound understanding on how long immunity may last for people exposed to COVID-19 and why some of these second infections, while rare, turn out to be more severe. In light of this, the researchers strongly suggest that individuals who have already been infected with COVID-19 continue to take serious precautions when it comes to the virus with emphasis on handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks.

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Happy World Sight Day!

October 8, 2020

 

Today, the 8th of October, World Sight Day is celebrated globally. This year´s theme is ´Hope In Sight´.

 

World Sight Day has been celebrated on the second Thursday of October since it was originally initiated by Lions Clubs International as part of the SightFirst Campaign in 1988 to raise public awareness of blindness and vision impairment. In 2000, World Sight Day became an official event of the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and has ever since been the focal advocacy and public relations occasion for the IAPB and its members and partners.

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around a billion people around the world have vision impairment that in the majority of cases can be treated, prevented or cured. Vision impairment or blindness can have major and long-lasting effects on all aspects of life, including daily activities, interacting with the community, education and work opportunities and the ability to access public services. Reduced eyesight can be caused by several factors, including diseases like diabetes and trachoma, trauma to the eyes, or conditions such as refractive error, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma.

 

This year’s celebration will be quite different from previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, there are a variety of interesting activities on offer to promote eye health awareness and access to quality eye care. Here are just two examples:

 

  • The IAPB, with support from Bayer, is organizing the International Photography Competition where amateur and professional photographers from around the world are invited to share photos highlighting the impact of eye health on people’s lives. In previous years, hundreds of photographers have shared their work which helps to create a great resource for the entire eye health sector as the photos are made available for use under a CreativeCommons licence.

 

 

For years, Lions Clubs around the world have organized various projects to focus attention on prevention of blindness, awareness of the importance of eye health and the need for quality eye care services for all. Many Lions Clubs have set up collection points within their communities for redundant spectacles and other resources for the sight-impaired although this year COVID-19 has made this work more challenging.

 

Other activities include taking part in awareness-raising walks, distributing and displaying posters, bookmarks, booklets and other forms of information that raise awareness of preventable blindness – some even plant trees to commemorate the day.

 

World Sight Day is a great opportunity to highlight the importance of eye health and ways to prevent vision loss. When was the last time you had an eye exam? What about your family, friends and colleagues?

 

We should all pledge this World Sight Day to take an eye exam—and encourage others to do the same. Let’s also use this fine occasion to encourage governments, corporations, institutions and individuals to actively support universal access to eye health. Blindness can be prevented in so many cases – so let’s make that happen!

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RetinaRisk Can Help During COVID-19 Times

October 1, 2020

 

The COVID-19 crisis is having a dramatic impact everywhere. The death toll has now crossed 1 million and the outbreak seems to be still on the rise. The impact on global eye healthcare is considerable mainly due to travel restrictions and reprioritization of health resources. Ophthalmologists in many countries are concerned that, due to COVID-19, patients are skipping crucial appointments for eye treatment, potentially resulting in thousands and even millions going blind unnecessarily. Also, due to lockdown, eye screening of millions is being delayed resulting in enormous backlogs in many places when life gets back to normal.

 

The clinically validated RetinaRisk algorithm can help in various ways during these challenging COVID-19 times by empowering people living with diabetes to monitor their risk of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy and by streamlining and personalizing eye care based on risk prediction.

 

How does it work? The RetinaRisk algorithm calculates the individualized risk for persons living with diabetes of developing sight-threatening eye disease, based on key risk factors, namely gender, type and duration of diabetes, retinopathy diagnosis, HbA1c and blood pressure.

 

How can RetinaRisk help?

 

Prioritization during lockdown – RetinaRisk can assist hospitals and healthcare providers to determine which patients need to attend eye screening and seek treatment during lockdown situations and who can safely stay home. The RetinaRisk API (Application Programming Interface), is a system-to-system solution, that allows hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers to identify high-risk patients who need immediate care to prevent vision loss and low-risk patients whose eye screening appointments can safely be postponed.

 

Dealing with eye screening backlogs – when things get back to normal, RetinaRisk offers a scientific approach for calling in high-risk patients for priority eye screening when dealing with the large backlogs.  By stratifying and recommending variable intervals for eye screening, based on patient’s risk profile, RetinaRisk increases the clinical safety of patients while making diabetic retinopathy eye screening more efficient and cost-effective.

 

Patients can monitor their risk at home – RetinaRisk app empowers people living with diabetes to assess and monitor their risk of developing sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy despite halted services and seek timely medical assistance if needed. It also indicates which are the key risk factors for each calculation – blood pressure or blood sugar levels – and offers extensive educational material on how to lower these modifiable risk factors.  The app allows patients to better understand their condition and motivates them towards enhanced diabetes care. The users can set their goals as regards blood sugar and blood pressure, monitor progression and share with healthcare providers. Logging eye screening appointments and other new features will be introduced later this year.

 

The RetinaRisk algorithm is based on extensive international research and has been clinically validated in over 25.000 diabetic patients in five countries.The results have been published in peer-reviewed scientific articles in respected medical journals.

 

RetinaRisk is focused on wellness, prevention and personalization through digital engagement and predictive analytics. We’re witnessing the rise of digital health and fundamental changes in healthcare with patients becoming more knowledgeable and active participants in their wellness journey. With the RetinaRisk app, we are raising awareness about diabetes and the risk of eye disease that could lead to blindness. We’re providing patients with information that helps them manage their diabetes care and related health decisions. RetinaRisk offers a truly personalized approach leading to the right patient receiving the right treatment at the right time. For more information about RetinaRisk please visit our website here.

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