Pensacola, FL — USRetina, a national association of retina surgeons and practices, is backing a collaborative effort across multiple retina practices and health systems to provide at least thirty free diabetic retinopathy screening events in thirty days during Diabetes Awareness Month in November. US Retina announced the national initiative as eye care professionals and industry representatives gathered from around the world at the American Academy of Ophthalmology conference in Chicago.
“My colleagues and I are on a mission to reduce and eventually eliminate the leading causes of irreversible blindness in this country: diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration,” said Sunil Gupta, M.D., USRetina Co-founder and CMO. “Payers, primary care providers, and retina specialists are all joining the cause, and this is only the beginning. We want to encourage a national conversation about the practical steps we can take to eliminate Diabetic Retinopathy as a leading cause of vision loss, much like the United Kingdom has done.”
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that all patients with diabetes receive an annual eye exam for Diabetic Retinopathy. Unfortunately nearly sixty percent of diabetics go untested each year, leading to unnecessary vision loss for hundreds of thousands of patients each year. The risk of going blind can be reduced by 95% with early detection and appropriate follow-up care.
USRetina practices are teaming up with the diabetes care experts at IRIS: Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems to provide free diabetic retinopathy screening events in communities across the country using automated retinal imaging cameras and an advanced cloud-based grading platform.
“It all starts with ensuring patients with diabetes receive their annual eye exam,” said Jason Crawford, CEO of IRIS. "With the right technology and solution, patients can be easily and accurately assessed for the presence of Diabetic Retinopathy at the point of care, with the results returned to the patient’s primary care provider.”
Diabetic Retinopathy screening event locations during Diabetes Awareness Month will be found online at www.USRetina.com and RetinalScreenings.com.