Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

The ophthalmology practice of the future will need to manage patients more efficiently and that means incorporating more technology, said Ravi Goel, MD, spokesperson for the AAO and ophthalmologist at Regional Eye Associates in New Jersey.

The ophthalmology practice of the future will need to manage patients more efficiently and that means incorporating more technology, said Ravi Goel, MD, spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and ophthalmologist at Regional Eye Associates in New Jersey.

Transcript

What changes that occurred as a result of the pandemic do you expect to stay, and are there any you think will get scaled back?

Telemedicine exploded in the early days of the pandemic. In particular, it was essential for patients who had types of care then still needed to be seen, but we couldn’t bring them into the office. Telemedicine was wonderful. In my own practice, I implemented parking lot pressures, where I took a patient’s pressure in the parking lot, then they went home, and then I did a telemedicine exam with them to manage their glaucoma or sometimes their diabetes and their macular degeneration to do vision screenings outside the office and then follow up through telemedicine.

I think telemedicine is here to stay. I think it will be augmented in the years ahead. I’m excited one of my sessions on The Ophthalmic [Office] of the Future, I look at the fact that virtual reality gadgets, I think, are in their initial stages. I think they will become more and more part of ophthalmic care in the future.

So, I mentioned a few data points to colleagues. Number one is that we estimate the vision loss in the world will go from 1.1 billion individuals to 1.6 billion individuals over the next 30 years. Those are patients who have mild, moderate, or severe visual loss or blindness. In the United States today, 17% of our citizens are over the age of 65—55 million. By 2060 that will be 97 million or 23% of those who live in the United States will be over the age of 65. Ophthalmology tends to skew towards older populations, so we need to figure out ways to better manage our patients—more efficiently manage them. I’m looking to see how Lean management can help our practices.

I’m excited to see what the IRIS registry data and studies that are looking at large population datasets, how that can innovate and help us to treat our patients with higher technologies, more efficient care, leading to better outcomes every day.



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