August 14, 2019
A trial of a virtual emergency consultation program for eye patients has led to quicker treatment times, and removed the need for follow-up hospital appointments in more than half of cases, according to reporting by University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and presented on the web site, Medical Xpress.
The tele-ophthalmology system, developed by the University of Strathclyde and by NHS Forth Valley, uses a live video feed to securely connect doctors, opticians and patients.
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Using a mixture of 3-D printed technology developed at Strathclyde, combined with the Scottish Government-funded Attend Anywhere Video Consultation Platform, eye doctors can remotely examine patients in emergency departments and High Street opticians.
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The trial, which started in April 2018, has now become part of usual practice in the Emergency Departments at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert and in the Minor Injuries Unit at the Stirling Health and Care Village.
All seven on-call consultants within NHS Forth Valley use the technology. It is also being trialled in one of Scotland’s busiest A & E departments at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in collaboration with NHS GG&C’s Medical Devices Unit, which will ensure the roll out of the adaptor meets medical device regulations.
NHS Forth Valley has received more than 80 consecutive video referrals for urgent eye problems, with the need for a second appointment deemed to have been saved in an estimated 50 percent of cases.