Blindness Prevention in Action: The OTN’s Teleophthalmology Program

Ontario is Canada’s most populous province with a population of almost 15 million. In 2016, more than 1.6 million people in Ontario are living with diabetes. Data shows that approximately one-third of people with diabetes aged 20 or older have not had an eye exam for retinopathy within a two-year period. Compliance rates for retinal screening were below 60%. The Ontario Ministry if Health has adopted a provincial diabetes strategy that includes a goal to ensure that 80% of adults with diabetes have three key diabetes tests (A1C, LDL-cholesterol, and a retinal eye exam).

This case study illustrates how Retina Labs systematic, telemedicine-based approach to screening can improve compliance rates, patient outcomes while reducing long-terms costs associated with the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. We also take a close look how this teleophthalmology program has helped improve access to retinal screenings for the community of Manitoulin Island.