Today, diabetes is a more common disease and there are 10% of Americans who have been affected by diabetes which is expected to double in 2050. Patients who have diabetes may develop diabetic retinopathy which is an eye complication that can contribute to vision loss.
In response to this complication, doctors are looking for new tools that can help in detecting this and treating this condition. Diabetic Eye Disease Center of Excellence works in making advances to the available treatments for diabetic retinopathy.
Atma Vemulakonda, an ophthalmologist and academy member, mentioned how these new technologies and research can help in improving the quality of life of patients who could lose their sight. The advances can help them to preserve their sight and minimize interruptions in their daily lives.
Can Artificial Intelligence Detect Eye Damage From Diabetes?
Diabetic retinopathy requires early detection to prevent vision loss but some individuals do not have access to an ophthalmologist or optometrist which puts them at a greater risk. The number of people who have diabetes grows which means more eye care specialists are needed.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is introduced to help in analyzing photographs of the eye to look out for signs of diabetic retinopathy. The AI system is programmed to spot the difference between a healthy eye and an unhealthy eye that can determine if you have diabetic retinopathy or not.
IDx-DR and EyeArt AI Screening System are the two approved two AI devices by the U.S Food and Drug Administration to detect diabetic retinopathy. It can be used during a regular eye exam and the results can be available in a few minutes. It is easy and quick to use because it takes pictures of both eyes.
What Are the New Treatments That May Eliminate the Need for Ongoing Eye Injections?
Anti-VEGF medications such as Avastin are given to patients with diabetic retinopathy to stabilize or improve their vision. These medications prevent the swelling of blood vessels in the retina and the growth of abnormal blood vessels. It is injected 12 times a year.
Gene therapy and port delivery systems may give an alternative to ongoing eye injections. RGX-314 is the first treatment in gene therapy that is injected under the retina in an operating room. The second therapy is ADVM-022 to be injected in a doctor’s office. The two methods are in phase 2 clinical trials.
Port delivery system is storage for anti-VEGF medicine that is refillable. Surgery is needed to be done to implant the port. The PDS is in phase 3 clinical trial and it may take a couple of years to be available in the market.