Dr. Kelvin Teo from the Singapore Eye Research Institute
(SERI) shared the Singaporean perspective on a study of home-monitoring risky group patients for acute vision loss during the first COVID-19
lockdown period in April 2020. They used Alleye with backend support provided by the Singapore National Eye Center (SNEC)
Ocular Reading Center (SORC). When an alert was triggered, personnel from SORC arranged access to SNEC retinal clinics.
Their study observed that younger patients living with family who have poor vision with one eye with longer deferment, ลาวสามัคคี
who receive active treatment and have a diagnosis of AMD, were more likely to sign up for the service.
Knowing about the profile of the groups less likely to sign up would allow them to use better strategies to target them in the future.
The study’s result also suggested the monitoring program was sensitive enough to detect changes before a significant drop in vision. In Glaucoma Management in COVID-19,
Dr. David Friedman from Massachusetts Eye and Ear’s Glaucoma Center of Excellence,
part of the Harvard Medical Teaching Hospital, shared about the American experience in telemedicine for glaucoma care.
For monitoring glaucoma patients, the key data necessary are visual acuity, eye pressure, functional (like visual field) and structural testing (OCT).
The options for tele-glaucoma visits include treatment compliance checks, like using the phone or mobile apps.
Home tonometers are not easy to distribute and are also expensive. Another challenge for glaucoma care telemedicine is the difficulty in obtaining IOP measurements and other testing.
In the future, Dr. Friedman said we could consider methods like drive-by fundus photography.
“Telemedical and in-person care for different patient groups are both needed along with a care-delivery model based both on disease and patient factors,” he said.
However, he cautioned that we have to be mindful of potential exacerbation of disparities.
To capture a worldwide view of how ophthalmology has been practiced during the pandemic,
Dr. Tan Tien-En shared findings from his study Global Ophthalmology Practice Patterns in COVID-19:
What Has Changed in 2021? The study, an update from its 2020 version, spanned from mid-2020 to May 2021,
tracing the development of COVID-19 discoveries, especially related to the eye (like conjunctivitis) and detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA in ocular secretions.
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