By Kacie Bittner
We recently celebrated the major achievement of 500,000 patient exams and over 72,000 IRIS Saves. At IRIS, the bulk of our success is often credited to the visible components of the business: software development, sales, and client success. But, behind every IRIS exam and every IRIS Save is one of over 120 ophthalmologists, retina specialists, or optometrists who interpret exams for the IRIS Reading Center.
Dr. Peter Karth has worked with the IRIS Reading Center since November of 2016. Before the end of his first year with IRIS, Dr. Karth had already interpreted 357 exams. Today, nearing the end of 2019, he has graded over 81,000 exams, equating to roughly 16% of the company’s total exam volume 510,000+. We asked Dr. Karth to share his experience with IRIS over the past three years.
Back in the fall of 2016, Dr. Karth was drawn to ophthalmic telemedicine for several reasons. The draw to IRIS was the mission to end preventable blindness, one that Dr. Karth strongly believes in. As a board-certified ophthalmologist and retina specialist, Dr. Karth had enough first-hand exposure to the vision-threatening implications of diabetic retinopathy to know that the mission was critical.
IRIS’s technology allows Dr, Karth and other graders to provide valuable clinical feedback to patients in a short and clinically useful timeframe. “As technology improves, so does patient care and outcomes,” says Dr. Karth. At IRIS, we agree and are constantly improving our technology to support our clients and clinicians. One of the most important aspects of this is the image enhancements on the IRIS platform, which often allows diagnosis of pathology that would have otherwise gone undetected.
As a full-time retina specialist with an active practice, Dr. Karth allocates anywhere from five to twenty minutes in between patients to provide remote interpretations for exams. “I actually adjust my schedule to make sure I have time to devote (to grading exams) because it is very important,” he pointed out. Because the IRIS Dashboard is cloud-based, it is accessible from any location with an internet connection and allows providers to grade exams from an array of devices. Dr. Karth’s ideal device for grading is his MacBook Pro. He notes the impracticality of being tied to a desktop while still preferring a larger screen than a mobile device offers.
We would not have achieved the level of success we are seeing today without the network of physicians in the IRIS Reading Center providers and their commitments to the mission of Ending Preventable Blindness. We can put an infinite number of cameras in the field and scan every diabetic in America, but without a provider to interpret the exam, we could not have saved the eyesight of 72,000+ patients. On behalf of everyone at IRIS and the patients who had pathology detected and treated, we thank Dr. Karth and the many physicians who serve as part of the IRIS Reading Center.