Collaboration for Promising Outcomes
SriniVas Sadda, MD
President & Chief Scientific Officer
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
One aspect of the doctor-patient relationship that matters profoundly, but that is often overlooked, is storytelling. When a patient comes seeking advice or help, we doctors rely, in part, on the story the patient tells. We listen to the story, make our own observations, do some investigation, and come up with a plan for treatment.
One of the ways technology is changing that exchange is with the amount of investigation and data gathering patients can do for themselves. Our smartphones are increasingly diagnostic tools; and now, on the horizon are devices that patients could use at home to send data to us, so that the part of the story the patient relates is more complete, even before a making a trip to the doctor.
Portable or home OCT devices, such as the binocular OCT device under development by Alex Walsh, a former Doheny clinician-scientist, offer real promise for improving the efficiency of the diagnosis of eye problems. The binocular OCT device can provide an array of critical quantitative measurements, plus high resolution layered images of the retina, allowing us to see eye health and to note any disease progression.
Even in its first iteration, this device is a great leap forward, because it eliminates the need for travel and allows medical professionals to administer the testing. Of course, there are broader implications for ophthalmology, as well. When these devices are refined, FDA approved, and widely available for loan or for home use at a reasonable price, the change in patient care will be substantial – promising a more efficient and effective way for physicians to discover and monitor disease. Access to these devices will mean literally putting more power into the hands of patients to participate in their own health and outcomes.
My hope is that one of the transformative potentials of technology is to deepen the doctor-patient partnership, giving patients more opportunities to participate in and understand their entirely unique patient profile and their health care.
At this time of year, I am particularly thankful for the generosity and tremendous spirit of teamwork of our donors and supporters, the Doheny-UCLA faculty and staff, our alumni, and collaborators, for investing in this kind of breakthrough innovation, and for our shared commitment to the future of vision science research.
To donors, Doheny-UCLA patients, colleagues, friends and the entire DEI family, my heartfelt thanks for your generous support. I am excited to be looking ahead with you to 2020.