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With the advent of new technologies, healthcare is also evolving. Despite recent economic downturns, leaders in the healthcare industry have been expressing interest in automation powered by artificial intelligence (AI). The goal of adopting these technologies is to relieve an overburdened workforce as well as to deliver cost-effective and accessible healthcare services. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at cases that leverage automation, AI, and telehealth to revolutionize eye care processes.
Automation: The Finnish ACES-RWM
A research team based in Finland has created a comprehensive tool that involves collecting real-world data using automation. The digital tool package is called ‘Automation of Care and Evaluation in System with Real-World Monitoring’ or ACES-RWM. It is a health ecosystem that uses technology to help monitor and manage healthcare in real-world settings. It also helps track patients’ health data and provides automated care and evaluation to improve healthcare outcomes. By leveraging automation, ACES-RWM bypasses many of the time-consuming processes that healthcare professionals go through to assemble and evaluate test results. In terms of its uses in ophthalmology, ACES-RWM has been deployed for monitoring eye conditions, remote patient management, data analysis, and treatment personalization.
AI: Virtual eyeglasses try-on
On the other hand, consumers have been gaining first-hand experience in AI-powered technologies like Glasses.com’s virtual mirror that allows you to try on prescription glasses online. The development of virtual try-ons could not have happened without the advancements in augmented reality (AR), AI, and computer vision. It’s through those technological breakthroughs that algorithms are now capable of precisely mapping the human face and overlaying 3D models of eyeglasses in real-time. In the future, AI also has the potential to be applied to predictive analytics and ‘oculomics,’ or the connection between ophthalmic biomarkers with systemic health and disease, according to Dr. Konstantinos Balaskas, the director of Clinical AI Lab at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital.
Telehealth: VSee-Advantech’s telehealth solution
Telehealth services have been invaluable in providing timely care, especially for people with no immediate access to traditional healthcare services. The use of VSee-Advantech’s AMiS-72 telehealth cart solution has been successful in rural areas of Taiwan where there’s a lack of specialists. The telehealth cart has enabled the local health center in the sparsely populated Shimen district to provide specialist care to elderly diabetics at high risk for retinal diabetes, saving them arduous travel times to the nearest hospital as well as greater exposure to illnesses. Local medical workers first put patients through proper screening and imaging with a digital ophthalmoscope. The images are immediately sent to remote specialists at the Fu-Jen Hospital nearly an hour away. Patients then video consult with the hospital ophthalmologist who explains their results via the integrated VSee telehealth communication platform.
These technological innovations in eye care are viable tools that have the potential to enhance patient outcomes and provide new treatment options. Regardless of mainstream media’s attempt at fearmongering, AI will not be taking the jobs of ophthalmologists. Instead, it should be seen as a valuable tool to refine resource efficiency. Automation can reduce burdens on an outstretched workforce. AI can help determine whether a patient will positively or negatively respond to an eye treatment based on their history and clinical genetics. And telehealth can make access to these advancements available to patients in far-flung areas. As a whole, these technologies essentially have the power to transform eye care.
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Guest post by Leanne Rose
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