ATA Seeks Public Comment on Its Ocular Telehealth-Diabetic Retinopathy Practice Guidelines

Deadline for Public Comment: July 19, 2019


ARLINGTON, VA, JUNE 19, 2019 — The ATA (American Telemedicine Association) today announced it is seeking public comment on the new edition of its Ocular Telehealth-Diabetic Retinopathy Practice Guidelines. This 3rd Edition reflects new evidence, emerging technologies and the expanded scope of ocular telehealth. The ATA guidelines describe evidence-based best practices for ocular telehealth, and are based on the accumulated knowledge and experience of eye care and telemedicine professionals, ATA special interest workgroups, and other stakeholders.

Telehealth programs for diabetic retinopathy (DR) have been shown to be efficacious, cost-effective and scalable means to prevent diabetes related vision loss. The ATA believes that these guidelines will help to increase access to personalized, quality, efficient and cost-effective remote evaluation, diagnosis and management of DR, and facilitate integration of diabetes eye care with primary and specialty medical care. The guidelines include recommendations for designing, implementing, and sustaining an ocular telehealth care program and highlights current clinical, technical, and administrative issues that form the basis for evaluating DR with telehealth services and technologies.

“The development and implementation of ocular telehealth programs is needed to address the debilitating and costly complications of diabetic retinopathy, the most common cause of blindness in working-age adults in the U.S. and in many other countries,” said Yao Liu, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Chair, ATA Ocular Telehealth Special Interest Group (SIG).

“The purpose of these ocular telehealth guidelines is to help advance the science and assure uniform quality patient care that is consistent with evidence-based recommendations for diabetic eye care,” added April Maa, MD, Associate Professor, Dept of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine, and Vice Chair of the ATA Ocular Telehealth SIG.
The ATA seeks public comments by July 19, 2019. Learn more, comment or download the guidelines here.

About Diabetic Retinopathy
According to the National Eye Institute, vision lost to diabetic retinopathy can be irreversible. However, early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent. Because diabetic retinopathy often lacks early symptoms, people with diabetes should have eye screening at least once a year or as recommended by their eye care provider.

About the American Telemedicine Association
ATA is a nonprofit association based in Washington, DC, with a membership network of more than 10,000 industry leaders and healthcare professionals. As the only organization completely focused on telehealth, the ATA is working to change the way the world thinks about telemedicine and virtual care.

Contact: Amy Gaddis