Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Successful Sight Saving Screening Programme for Diabetes Patients set to Expand

23.04.2007
A £4.5m community based digital eye screening programme designed to detect and treat diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in the developed world, is being rolled out to other locations, following its huge success since launching seven months ago.

The Nottingham Diabetic Retinopathy Service is expanding from four to 10 locations, to include additional health centres and a branch of Boots in Nottingham City Centre as well as two hospitals. The Service has also been commended in the recently published Department of Health National Service Framework report* as a model screening programme.

The Nottingham Diabetic Retinopathy Service was launched ahead of schedule last September and is using OptoMize iP, an innovative digital imaging software and electronic patient records system developed by Digital Healthcare, a Cambridge company that is the UK’s leading supplier of specialist diabetic retinopathy screening software.

Diabetes patients in Nottinghamshire are invited to attend a screening clinic at a location near to their homes, where a digital photograph is taken of the back of their eyes that can detect diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that can lead to blindness if left untreated.

To date, the Service has offered nearly 11,000 screening appointments, with a current rate of 1,900 per month, to the 23,000 registered diabetes patients in Nottingham, including children from the age of 12 years. It is therefore well on track to meet Department of Health targets which require 100% of the diabetic population to have had access to a digital scan of their eyes by the end of 2007.

The Service began by screening diabetes patients at the Queen’s Medical Centre, the City Hospital, Stapleford Care Centre and Park House, Carlton. The recent extension means that patients can now also attend screening appointments at health centres in Clifton, Gamston, Ruddington, Hucknall and Kimberley as well as at the City Centre branch of Boots.

Dr Tasso Gazis, Diabetes Consultant at the Queen’s Medical Centre and Clinical Leader of the Screening Service, said: “Diabetic retinopathy is a symptomless disease that can have devastating effects but which is treatable with laser treatment if it is caught early on. The digital imaging service that we offer using Digital Healthcare’s software is the most effective way to identify the disease at an early stage. And we can also use this software to monitor for changes in eye condition by comparing images taken at different points in time.”

“Detection of the disease also depends on reaching out to diabetes patients and making it as straightforward as possible for them to attend their screening appointments. Digital Healthcare’s software can be pre-loaded onto laptops so that our staff can travel between health centres to hold screening clinics for about a month at each centre on a revolving basis. This means that we can provide a mobile, community-based service, offering patients a greater choice of locations for their screening appointments, which is particularly useful for elderly patients and increases the overall take-up rates.”

Turnaround times on the Screening Service, which is co-ordinated by the Departments of Diabetes and Ophthalmology at Nottingham University Hospitals, are rapid with patients typically receiving notification of their results within a fortnight of the screening. However, if an abnormality is detected during the screening process, the patient is referred directly to a specialist clinic for further investigation and laser treatment, if appropriate, without the need to seek a referral from their GP.

Dr Gazis commented: “The software contains a secure electronic patient records system covering all the patients on the programme so we can pull up patient histories and images instantly. The system is also fully-automated so we can generate referrals to clinics straight after screening, as well as reports on the screening results for GPs and patients. It enables just three staff members to handle nearly 80,000 items of correspondence to GPs and patients every year, so we can focus more resources on screening and grading work.”

Jeff Gordon, Chairman and Managing Director of Digital Healthcare, said: “I would like to congratulate Dr Gazis and his team on the success of the Nottingham Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service. It is a pleasure to work with such an efficient, committed team to provide the technology that enables the Service to be a truly community-based programme which reaches out to diabetes patients.

“Diabetes currently affects 1.8 million people in the UK and that figure is expected to increase to 3m people by 2010. So it is vital that we make it as easy as possible for diabetes patients to attend digital screening appointments that could quite literally save their sight.”

David Cartwright, Director of Professional Services, Boots Opticians commented: "Boots is committed to providing access to healthcare services that make good health easier for patients. Offering this service in a high street setting means that patients can access the screening at times convenient to them."

In addition to the main Nottingham Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service, there is a unique ‘ad hoc’ screening service at the Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital sites where patients from outside the region who attend a diabetes clinic are offered an eye screening appointment while they are at the hospital.

Dr Gazis concluded by commenting on future plans for the Service: “As we build up our screening records over a longer period of time, we will be able to use the software to plan treatment on an individual patient basis. For example, while we will continue to offer digital screening appointments to all diabetes patients on a regular basis, we could plan to offer even more frequent screening appointments for ‘high risk’ patients.

“The fact that Digital Healthcare’s software enables us to provide a mobile service also means that we could bring screening clinics to more locations.”

The Nottingham Diabetic Retinopathy Service is part of a national screening programme set up by the Department of Health which requires 100% of the diabetic population to have had access to a digital scan of their eyes by the end of 2007.

The Nottingham Service publishes a summary of the total number of digital screening appointments it offers at www.nottinghamretinopathy.co.uk

Margaret Henry | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nottinghamretinopathy.co.uk
http://www.digital-healthcare.com

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Novel PET tracer identifies most bacterial infections
06.10.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

nachricht Teleoperating robots with virtual reality
05.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Single nanoparticle mapping paves the way for better nanotechnology

24.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A quantum spin liquid

24.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Antibiotic resistance: a strain of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli is on the rise

24.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>