The cost and challenge that Glaucoma detection and management poses to the world’s health systems can not be understated.
-Prof Jonathan Crowston
The cost and challenge that Glaucoma detection and management poses to the world’s health systems can not be understated. Already one of the leading causes of vision loss, Glaucoma is becoming a much bigger concern to global health professionals as ageing populations with multiple chronic diseases means that the risk and burden of blindness from glaucoma continue to grow. At the same time, new science brings to this challenge a real sense of excitement with the opportunity to better understand the genetic determinants of the disease, and the opportunity to better diagnose, monitor and treat the disease with new technology.
Case detection remains a significant challenge with many individuals with glaucoma still undiagnosed. This highlights the need for better approaches for case detection in the community. The next challenge is to develop clinical tools to more rapidly determine a patients risk of further vision loss, so that treatment can be tailored to a patients need. That way we can focus our care to spend the most time and treat most aggressively those patients at highest risk of vision loss while at the same time avoid over treating those who are at low risk.
As glaucoma a life-long condition, outpatient waiting lists are growing organically. Better models of care – like those pioneered in Cambridge by Prof Keith Martin, who has just succeeded me at the Centre for Eye Research – are needed around the world. This need underpins one of the many topics being discussed at the World Glaucoma Congress that we are proud to host in Melbourne at the end of March.
Technology is the key to sustainable and scalable solutions. Solutions must manage the competing priorities of data security and patient privacy with access to information by clinicians as patients move through care pathways. Doing so means that patients can receive care at the appropriate level of the health system. Ophthalmologists can spend their time where they add most value – doing surgery and catering for those at highest risk of losing vision and a reduction in their quality of life. The monitoring of stable and lower risk patients can take place in the community and we are fortunate in Australia to have highly trained optometrists who can work effectively with ophthalmologists to deliver the best care for our patients. This will require emerging technologies to allow secure and streamlined sharing of patient information among relevant care providers and to facilitate audit and the monitoring of patient outcomes and attendance. There are huge gains in terms of efficiency for eye health systems and convenience for patients.
Oculo is facilitating improved patient care by streamlining and optimising the way that clinical information is shared. The Oculo platform enables clinicians to manage and move patients through care pathways appropriate to their condition, facilitating better use of time and more innovative solutions to the monitoring and management of non-critical cases of glaucoma.
Marrying new technologies with health care delivery will be critical in order for our health services to continue improving whilst also catering for increased demand.
Here is where you will find who we are, why we do what we do, and all our latest news.