People with glaucoma and eye doctors face a dilemma. On one hand patients with glaucoma are at high risk of losing their eyesight
if their disease progresses undetected and essential therapy adjustments are delayed. On the other hand these typically elderly vulnerable individuals are often hampered in seeing their doctor for office visits particularly during a lockdown.
Clinical study: telehealth glaucoma care
Glaucoma specialists and patients welcome the results of the clinical study published in Ophthalmology Glaucoma (1) – they show how Implandatas EYEMATE system is transforming glaucoma treatment. During a lockdown period eye specialists remotely monitored the intraocular pressure of their patients. Based on data generated by the EYEMATE system doctors changed the therapy of 29% of their patients without requiring an office visit
– thus reducing the risk of vision loss and keeping them safe during the lockdown.
What this means for people with glaucoma
Undetected disease progression is a big risk. Glaucoma gradually robs people of their vision. Continual remote monitoring of glaucoma patients allows early therapy adjustment as needed even when glaucoma patients are unable to visit their eye doctor. Thus EYEMATE enables patients and their eye doctors to be informed in real-time of disease progression which means the therapy can be adjusted without delay – before eyesight is permanently lost.
What glaucoma experts say
- Kaweh Mansouri M.D. lead investigator of the study ophthalmologist at Clinique de Montchoisi Lausanne/Switzerland and Professor at the Department of Ophthalmology at University of Colorado explains:
"Our study shows that unnecessary clinic visits can be avoided by remote glaucoma monitoring. This is particularly important during the current pandemic for elderly patients who are at highest risk for COVID-19 complications."Robert N. Weinreb, M.D., Chair and Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology at University of California, San Diego adds:
"The study findings help us envisage a future for tele-ophthalmology in glaucoma management far beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote patient monitoring and management significantly enhance existing glaucoma diagnostics, and allows a more rational application of existing and future vision-saving therapies."