At Western Maine Primary Care, there are approximately 1,300 patients with Type I or Type II diabetes, and only about 60% of them receive annual diabetic retinopathy screenings. Retinopathy screenings typically must take place at specialty ophthalmology practices, but access is limited in Norway, ME. Dr. Brian Nolan, Dr. Shane Kirkegaard and Kerri Barton decided to address this substantial need. The team has purchased a Canon AF retinal camera that connects with a cloud-based artificial intelligence algorithm to automate image analysis in significantly less time through the EyeArt AI Screening System. This process allows patients to receive retinopathy screening during their regular clinic visits, reducing time and expense of specialist based screening. MaineHealth will be leveraging this new technology to increase annual screening rates among diabetic patients, decrease the time-to-diagnosis and time-to-treat vision threatening retinopathy, and ideally reduce sight loss from the leading preventable cause of blindness. While improving screening rates, this technology is a supplement but not a replacement for necessary professional eye care.
Kerri Barton, MPH – Research Navigator, Maine Medical Center