Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Digital Healthcare scores World First with Secure Telemessaging for Eye Screening


Liam Sweeney at Digital Healthcare uses the company’s OptoMize iP software to check for diabetic maculopathy, a common cause of loss of vision in patients with diabetes.

A major community eye screening programme to monitor the sight of 12,000 diabetes patients across Central Lancashire over a 12 month period has scored a world first in using secure messaging telemedicine to successfully transfer patient information between opticians, hospitals and a screening administration centre within the PCTs. The diabetic retinopathy screening programme is using OptoMize, an innovative software product combining digital images of the retina with an electronic patient administration system, to electronically transfer screening results between a network of different computers. OptoMize iP was developed by Digital Healthcare, a Cambridge company that is the UK’s leading supplier of software for diabetic retinal screening programmes and ophthalmology.

The screening programme involves Preston and Chorley & South Ribble Primary Care Trusts, the Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley District Hospital as well as 17 optician practices across Preston, Chorley, Leyland and surrounding villages. It is encouraging all diabetes patients over 12 years old to have a digital photographic screen of their eyes which can detect the early signs of retinopathy, a disease of the retina that is the single largest cause of blindness in the UK.

Digital Healthcare’s OptoMize iP software has been installed on 48 computers in a variety of locations across Central Lancashire so that patients can choose to be screened by an accredited optometrist at their local optician or at an eye clinic in a hospital. The results are transferred electronically between the computers on the same network.

Rob Stichbury, Managing Director of Digital Healthcare, said: “We are delighted to have achieved a world first by successfully telemessaging patient information between the primary and secondary healthcare systems during the Preston and Chorley & South Ribble diabetes retinal screening programme.

It is estimated that there are 1.8 million diabetics in the UK and it is vital that their eyes are screened regularly for retinopathy, which can be treated effectively if it is caught at an early stage. Our OptoMize iP software enables screening programmes to offer patients a choice of locations to attend for eye screening, including opticians in rural areas and hospitals. This maximises the take-up rate and particularly benefits elderly or disabled people who may have difficulty travelling to hospital eye clinics. The deployment of advanced telemessaging means that images and results can be securely and promptly transferred so that healthcare staff have instant access to patient information as they need it, resulting in better preventative care for patients and speeding up urgent referrals for treatment.”

Janet Ashcroft, Health Improvement Manager at Preston PCT, and Alison Johnson, Head of Priority Clinical Services Development at Chorley & South Ribble PCT, have been leading implementation of the digital screening programme, which has been a factor in maintaining the prestigious 3 star status held by both Trusts.

Ms Ashcroft said: “This software has enabled us to really open up access for our patients as we can now offer them the most advanced screening system through a choice of locations. The built-in information system handles data well so we have the capacity to provide a screening service annually instead of every two years. This system is a significant factor in improving the standard of care that we offer to diabetes patients.”

Ms Johnson said: “The key advantages of the software to us are that we are now able to use digital photography for retinal screening, in line with national diabetes screening requirements, and it allows us to operate a centralised and fully-automated electronic information system covering all the patients on the programme.”

“Our screening staff can use the software to manipulate and analyse images of each patient’s retina, and monitor changes by comparing retinal images taken at different points in time. They can also print the images to share with patients, involving them in their treatment. This is much more effective than conventional eye examinations with slit lamps, and film-based retinal images which can be less detailed and deteriorate over time. The software is also fully-automated so the screening administration staff can check patients’ progress through the system, and after screenings, they can automatically generate reports to patients and GPs, or referrals to ophthalmology clinics if further investigations are needed.”

Margaret Henry | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease
23.03.2018 | Rice University

nachricht Sensitive grip
23.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>