Demand for digital health technology accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a pressing need for increased access to health care while attaining a reduction in the exposure risk that comes with in-person consultations. There has been a sharp increase in the adoption of digital healthcare solutions across different specialties, including ophthalmology. Available data shows that during the worldwide lockdown, ophthalmologists in China employed digital technology in healthcare to offer virtual consultations and reported the mediation of 10,000 eye-related visits using AI chatbots. On the other hand, American neuro-ophthalmologists recorded a 64.4% surge in the utilization of telehealth modalities. Up to 77.5% of ophthalmologists in India resorted to teleophthalmology to provide eye care. In this article, we will discuss how remote and digital eye care technology is transforming the way patients interact with ophthalmologists.
Telehealth comes with several advantages. For instance, being able to remotely evaluate patients has helped improve access to healthcare by increasing the geographical reach of essential healthcare services. This is a lifesaver for patients who are homebound, or experience obstacles to attend in-person consults, logistical or otherwise. A 2018 research paper dealing with the heat map study of deep-learning technology shows that AI can accurately classify diseases based on similar features used by clinicians. Oophthalmology has made this possible adopting multimodal digital imaging, specifically fundus, slit-lamp, and optical coherence tomography, all of which can be delivered remotely to aid in decision-making.
Telesurgery is when surgery is performed on a patient by a surgeon from a remote site. Due to its synchronous nature, telesurgery requires a reliable network that delivers low latency and high rates of data transfer (eg, a 5G network). To date, most of the examples of telesurgery are done on animal models or in simulation. A 2007 ophthalmological study published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare showed that telesurgery is feasible for repairing corneal lacerations on rabbit eyes. Another 2013 study published in the Journal of Robotic Surgery revealed that it is possible to perform transscleral cyclophotocoagulation on enucleated human eyes using telerobotic surgery.
Telemedicine is also useful when it comes to providing real-time surgical instruction and guidance to surgeons by experts in a different geographical location, also known as “telementoring.” Telementoring has the potential to allow rural patients to have access to world-class specialists. A 2022 research paper published by the National Library of Medicine mentioned one such amazing experiment. The report noted that 3 surgeons in Toronto were proctored by a surgeon in Israel in the implantation of a novel keratoprosthesis device into cadaver eyes. A specialized software in Toronto transmitted high-definition, 3-dimensional images to the proctor in Israel, who viewed the live video footage through a Virtual Reality (VR) headset with subsecond latency. The outcome was a that CorNeat KPro implantation was completed succesfully.
With new digital health solutions coming onto the scene every day, it is a given that ophthalmologists will look to leverage the technology to improve the quality of care and outcomes. As more people become a part of the digital world, it will become an industry norm to utilize digital health technology to cater to the larger population. Amid such a transformation, it is almost certain that healthcare market research will play a crucial role in the coming days, for healthcare organizations looking to come up with new digital eye care technologies. When it comes to digital health market research, Unimrkt Healthcare provides services that can help make all the difference. Our experienced team of research professionals is equipped with extensive knowledge and skills in designing and implementing a comprehensive range of unique healthcare market survey methodologies. To learn more about our research methodology in health services, call +91 124 424 5210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also fill out our contact form, and our digital eye care market research representatives will get in touch with you at the earliest.
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