The Future of Digital Health


By Louis Morrow

This past December, IRIS attended the 2018 NODE Health Digital Medicine Conference in New York City, held at the Microsoft Conference Center in Manhattan.  This conference was meant to bring together leaders in the healthcare technology industry to discuss how to better use digital medicine tools to reduce inefficiencies, improve access, reduce cost, increase quality, and make medicine more personalized for patients.  

Naturally, this conversation falls right in line with IRIS’ mission. One of the highlights of the meeting was hearing a current IRIS client, LifeBridge Health, share their IRIS experience and their results with the conference attendees.  Tiffany Wandy, the Executive Director of the Clinically Integrated Network at LifeBridge Health, shared their story from beginning to end including their history, rationale behind adopting a telemedicine program, their specific IRIS program results as well as future intentions. Some highlights of her presentation included:

  • LifeBridge implemented the IRIS program with the goals of enhancing access, increassing quality scores, reducing total cost of care, and most importantly, to prevent blindness.
  • During their initial evaluation period, LifeBridge conducted 517 IRIS exams resulting in 188 patients (36.4%) being identified with pathology, and 53 patients (10.3%) were IRIS saves.
  • All Primary Care locations hosting the IRIS solution have already exceeded their goals related to exam volume and financial metrics (e.g. ROI or payback period).

The most gripping portion of Tiffany’s presentation was a patient story she shared of a 50-year-old female diabetic patient who received the IRIS exam at one of LifeBridge Health’s Primary Care locations. After getting her retinal images taken, that patient received a diagnosis of moderate diabetic retinopathy.  This patient had no idea that this level of pathology was present, and through an immediate referral she was seen by the Ophthalmology team at the LifeBridge Health Krieger Eye Institute.  If LifeBridge had not offered this exam to this patient, her disease would have continued to progress, most possibly resulting in blindness or vision loss.  

The IRIS story from Tiffany and LifeBridge Health was so well received that two independent healthcare bloggers from the audience approached us wanting to share this inspiring story even further.  In fact, one such organization, a website called interviewed Tiffany and me immediately following her presentation for a podcast that should be posted sometime in January 2019…stay tuned!

It is opportunities like this Digital Medicine Conference that reinforce the impact that IRIS and our partners are having on patient’s lives, but also allow us to learn about the future of digital medicine and how IRIS can continue to evolve and adapt.  Overall the conference was a great experience to both learn and share, and IRIS is honored to have been a part.

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