HumanInsight Improving the Telemedicine Evaluation of Patients With Acute Vision Loss: A Call to Eyes
Neurology. 2022 Jun 28:10.1212/WNL.0000000000200969. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200969. Online ahead of print.
Acute vision loss related to cerebral or retinal ischemia is a time-sensitive emergency with potential treatment options including intravenous or intraarterial thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy. However, patients either present in delayed fashion or present to an emergency department that lacks the subspecialty expertise to recognize and treat these conditions in a timely fashion. Moreover, healthcare systems in the United States are becoming increasingly reliant on telestroke and teleneurology services for acute neurologic care, making accurate diagnosis of acute vision loss even more challenging due to critical limitations to the remote video evaluation, including the inability to perform routine ophthalmoscopy. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a greater reliance on telemedicine services and helped to accelerate the development of novel tools and care pathways to improve remote ophthalmologic evaluation, but these tools have yet to be adapted for use in the remote evaluation of acute vision loss. Permanent vision loss can be disabling for patients and efforts must be made to increase and improve early diagnosis and management. Herein, the authors outline the importance of improving acute ophthalmologic diagnosis, outline key limitations and barriers to the current video-based teleneurology assessments, highlight opportunities to leverage new tools to enhance the remote assessment of vision loss, and propose new avenues to improve access to emergent ophthalmology subspeciality.
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