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Streamlining Screening is Next Big Advance

SriniVas Sadda, MD

President & Chief Scientific Officer

As the incidence of diabetes rises worldwide, we in eye care see ever increasing rates of retinal disease. This is disheartening and challenging, as diabetic retinopathy is usually asymptomatic until it’s pretty far along.

For this reason, getting patients to screenings is absolutely critical. Statistics show that 90% of blindness caused by diabetes is preventable. That is perhaps the main reason why the work of my colleague Dr. Irena Tsui matters so much. Dr. Tsui is involved in research that links Doheny, UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute and the Los Angeles VA Hospital with her groundbreaking initiative to make it easier for patients to get screened and to get help. That may sound like a simple idea, but in fact there are often too many barriers to access. Dr. Tsui is examining these barriers and working to bring them down.

Remote eye imaging is a viable technology that can eliminate the need for visits to the eye clinic – visits that may be skipped because they take too much time or because the clinic is too far away. Instead of requiring patients to come in for two or three tests, Dr. Tsui is working to create a system inside of the VA that will allow remote clinics to take high quality images. That streamlined approach to screening can and will be replicated in the future to benefit the public, and I am very pleased about what that means for reducing eye disease.

This week on the Doheny Podcast Network, Dr. Tsui explains her research, including her approach to making screenings easier to access and how her patients benefit. Please tune in and hear the whole story.

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