Since 2020 the number of people with glaucoma worldwide has surpassed 80 million and it is expected to pass 111 million by 2040 (Eyes on Eyecare). To help tackle this issue, new solutions are being developed and brought to market. And, with these new solutions has come technology that is bringing more accurate monitoring as well as aids to predicting disease progression. Diagnosing glaucoma and detecting it can often be a challenging assignment; technology is now allowing us to press forward and find new ways to support this. With glaucoma being a disease where the risk increases with age, it’s vital we find solutions to help combat the sight loss that comes from it.
A popular topic of late, telemedicine, can do much to help with this. Telemedicine began growing in popularity throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. In a 2021 survey conducted by Capitena Young et al, about 50% of glaucoma providers stated that they planned to continue using telemedicine after the pandemic. And this has definitely been the case with numerous solutions coming to market in the last two years and there’s no signs of that slowing down anytime soon. So, what’s out there?
Innovative platforms exist with the capability to assess vision from anywhere, something that can strongly support eye care professionals in their day-to-day practice. Firstly, eye exams like those on our IBIS-Connect platform are one such example. Our tests can be used for remote testing and remote monitoring and our Visual Fields and Amsler tests can even help doctors to identify if there is a risk of glaucoma. The optometrist is directly linked to the patient, allowing an effective way to monitor progression. There are other solutions out there too; the Peek Acuity app, developed by the International Centre for Eye Health in London, evaluates distance vision and was even provided funding by the International Glaucoma Association.
Using telemedicine for glaucoma screening has many benefits. In countries where there are large numbers, it can reduce the need for in-person appointments and allow the time in-practice to be used for those who require more in-depth consultations and treatment. In developing countries with high-risk populations, remote glaucoma screening is often able to detect high rates of the disease and identify patients who need further care to avoid potentially irreversible vision loss.
From all these recent developments over the past few years, the future of glaucoma monitoring is clear; it is going to involve some aspect of telemedicine. Remote consultations, check-ups and follow-ups are going to help in detecting and keeping track of glaucoma progression. As mentioned above, IbisVision has tests on our platform that are very fitting when it comes to monitoring glaucoma and supporting eye care professionals in detecting it. Find out more about our tele-optometry platform, here.