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Kettering Health is the first primary care network in the Dayton area to offer an in-office screening for diabetic retinopathy. The leading cause of blindness in the working-age population, diabetic retinopathy is a disease that damages the blood vessels in the tissue of the retina (back of the eye). It is caused by uncontrolled blood sugar levels in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Until now, an annual screening with an eye doctor was the only way to identify signs of diabetic retinopathy.
To increase access to this important screening and decrease the number of patients experiencing vision loss, Kettering Health primary care providers in 10 locations can conduct the screening in their offices. Artificial intelligence (AI) analyzes images they take of the eye and determines if a patient needs referral to an ophthalmologist.
Dr. Dennis Anthony, internal medicine physician at Kettering Physician Network’s Walden Ponds Primary Care, championed the use of this technology.
“Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy is critical to preventing blindness. Traditionally it has been a challenge to get patients to schedule and keep another appointment with an eyecare provider for their annual retinopathy screening exam. By integrating AI screening technology into our patients’ regular office visit, we are able to close that care gap. This testing reassures those patients that are negative and educates and refers those patients that are positive for retinopathy to skilled ophthalmologists for appropriate care before their vision is compromised,” he said.