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April 28, 2018

Apr 28, 2018
 

I was having dinner with a group of cycling couples recently We are all participating in the Bike Virginia 6-day riding event in late June and we were discussing travel plans. One of the participants is an optometrist and we got into a discussion about prescription sunglasses for the ride. One of the riders pointed out that looking at his GPS tracking unit was a lot harder in the full sun than in the house and wondered which color lenses would be best. This brought about a conversation on how we as the patients are asked to decide which lenses are the best when the eye doctor is getting our prescription.

Our optometrist friend pointed out that he did not really have to do this because there are devices that they can use to evaluate our eyes and produce the “perfect” prescription. When someone asked him why he tortures us with the “is this better” routine, he answered that there is a human component missing; even though the device can see the lens, it can’t see what the patient is seeing.

 

This week, we have an article on the new Idx-DR. This device uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect retinopathy. According to the company there is no need to have an eye professional involved. This means that many more patients could have an earlier diagnosis if the device was in a clinic or medical office. However, just like the device that can determine a patient’s eyeglass prescription, this device lacks the human element that our optometrist-riding friend described.

Please check out Item 3 on this new device and then read an editorial opinion on why the human element is needed, by Dr. Paul Chous.

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We can make a difference!

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Dave Joffe

Editor-in-chief