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 New technique makes brain scans better
22.06.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

nachricht New technology enables effective simultaneous testing for multiple blood-borne pathogens
13.06.2017 | Elsevier

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another

27.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos

27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>