Cloud-based imaging, telemedicine platform increases rate of diabetic retinal exams


Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems announced that its cloud-based diagnostic imaging solution and retinal telemedicine platform has identified more than 50,000 patients with advanced sight-threatening pathologies that would have led to imminent blindness had they remained undetected, resulting in what they are calling “IRIS saves.”

The platform launched in 2013, with Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) performing more than 345,000 patient exams for diabetic retinopathy and other diseases, with 15% identified with imminent sight-threatening disease and more than 40% with some level of retinal pathology.

Susan Fleck, director of operations at Gateway Medical Associates near Philadelphia, spoke with Primary Care Optometry News about how IRIS has revolutionized diabetic retinal exams at the practice.

By implementing the IRIS diabetic retinopathy telemedicine solution, Gateway has administered diabetic retinal exams to 4,810 patients in the first year, identifying 678 (14%) with diabetic retinopathy who otherwise would have gone undiagnosed. Through its adoption of this disruptive technology, Gateway has increased its patients’ diabetic retinal exam compliance rate to 85% from 37% in just 1 year. The results successfully enabled Gateway to achieve HEDIS compliance as well.

PCON: How is the IRIS telemedicine system incorporated into the practice?

Fleck: We are happy to say we implemented the IRIS process to our practices to close gaps in care, and it was hugely successful. Once the machine was delivered to the office we quickly got them set up to send information electronically to the retinal specialists. The process that was implemented is as follows: 

  1. We predetermined the gap in care for retinal screening;
  2. On the way to the exam room the patient was screened using the IRIS machine;
  3. Once completed, it was immediately sent via secure connection to the retinal specialist;
  4. Confirmation was received immediately;
  5. A report then came back to our EMR within 24 hours; and
  6. It was reviewed by the provider, and the results are acted upon as appropriate.

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