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.