IAPB, together with Hillrom, hosted a key opinion leaders forum on DR targets in the Western Pacific yesterday (30 Sep). Attended by experts including 2020 Australian of the Year, Dr James Muecke and Malaysia Head of Ophthalmology, Dr Fariza Nga, the meeting initiated a conversation around the possibility of developing targets and indicators in a similar way to those adopted by the World Health Assembly this May.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults.1 Early detection and treatment can reduce cases of vision loss or blindness by up to 95%,2 making early diagnosis critical before DR becomes advanced.
“Hillrom believes that a target for DR is an important step forward as we work to prevent vision loss. Our mission is to enhance outcomes for patients and their caregivers by enabling earlier diagnosis and treatment. Hillrom believes it is important that any consideration of a target holds patients at the centre of outcomes,” said Dr. Carlos Urrea, Hillrom VP of Medical Affairs and Clinical Informatics.
Hillrom’s roots as a medical innovator date back to 1915 when Dr. Francis Welch and William Noah Allyn developed the world’s first handheld, direct illuminating ophthalmoscope and established Welch Allyn. Their innovation paved the way for more advancements to help provide better patient care. Today, we put advanced technology and smarter tools in the palms of your hands to help you detect serious conditions like diabetic retinopathy and vision disorders in children.
Hillrom recently joined the IAPB Valued Supplier scheme. Our RetinaVue® Imager features innovative technology which enables diabetic retinal exams to be performed in primary care — helping to increase compliance and prevent diabetic retinopathy as a leading cause of blindness. The RetinaVue Imager’s ease of use and lightweight, portable design make it well-suited for use across clinics, at the bedside or in the home, enabling earlier diagnosis for patients everywhere.
We’re delighted to be onboard. Our support for today’s meeting highlights that we have a commitment to eye health advocacy that stretches beyond product. As we progress through this decade it will be increasingly important for the public health sector to engage with the private sector to deliver positive eye health outcomes. It was discussed today that the IAPB-led sector strategy for the next decade has engagement with the private sector as a key pillar. Representatives from Fiji to Malaysia to China noted the need for improved technology for a target or indicator to fairly assess middle and lower income settings. Hillrom hopes to be part of that journey.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vision Health Initiative (VHI). Common Eye Disorders. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/index.html. Accessed May 31, 2017
- National Eye Institute. Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/retinopathy. Accessed May 30, 2017.