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Advances in Diabetic Retinopathy and Population Health

Diabetic RetinopathyMatthew Ohr, MD

Matthew Ohr, MD, retina physician, and his team are growing a successful teleophthalmology program to screen patients in primary care offices for diabetic retinopathy. This program is a team approach with training staff in the primary care offices to take the pictures on their patients during their medical visit using an easy-to-operate retina camera. The trained staff uploaded the retina pictures into the patient’s medical record which are then retrieval and review by Ohio State ophthalmologists. Dr. Ohr describes the simplicity of the process, “We can take a picture without dilating eye drops and make a diagnosis with confidence.”

Dr. Ohr notes the program’s impact that “a significant portion of patients in the participating offices weren’t previously getting their annual diabetic retinopathy exams,” whereas since the program’s introduction, “96% of patients with diabetes in these offices are successfully imaged.”

The Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences plans to incorporate these retinal images as part of the data science research program with the goal to improve patient outcomes. The teleophthalmology program currently includes OSU clinics in family medicine, endocrinology, emergency departments, and hematology. Given the success of Dr. Ohr’s initial program, there is great interest to expand this teleophthalmology program with regional hospital partners and with other primary care offices in Columbus and surrounding region.

Matthew Ohr, MD