Diabetic Retinopathy in Southeast Asia: A Call for Ocular Telehealth Programs
AbstractMore than half-a-billion individuals are projected to have diabetes by 2030, with the greatest increase in developing nations. Southeast Asian countries comprise a substantial proportion of this population and will need to prepare for both the rise in diabetes cases and the accompanying increase in diabetes related complications, most commonly diabetic retinopathy. Ocular telehealth programs utilizing retinal imaging for diabetic retinopathy have been established as an effective means to prevent visual loss due to diabetic retinal disease across multiple populations and in various settings. An additional value of ocular telehealth programs is their ability to integrate a multidisciplinary approach to diabetes eye care that incorporates patient education and fosters collaboration among multiple specialties. A program that provides a systematic and organized approach in delivering diabetes eye care is critically needed to successfully address this critical emerging health issue in this region of the world.
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