Technology and innovations have the power to transform the way we work and how—especially in healthcare. Healthcare has evolved rapidly over time, and new technology and other innovations have largely driven that evolution.
Those in healthcare fields can use technology to improve workflows and processes while making healthcare more equitable, personalized, and cost effective. For example, it can be used to personalize treatment, such as by creating a targeted health plan or customizing vision after cataract surgery.
Let’s take a look at some advances in the ophthalmology field and what the future looks like.
New Technology in Ophthalmology
The importance of technology in healthcare can’t be overstated. It has enabled healthcare workers to make incredible advancements in patient care and offer greater personalization. Let’s explore some new technology in healthcare and how Vision Integrated Partners (VIP) is implementing it.
Light Adjustable Lens
Cataracts occur when the normally clear natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy, resulting in vision problems. Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures in the world and involves removing the cloudy natural lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens.
However, it can be difficult to predict how the eye will heal before the cataract surgery even happens, and only 6 out of 10 cataract patients achieve their targeted vision.
An exciting new technology for cataract surgeries is the Light Adjustable Lens, which is customized after the patient’s surgery. Working with their surgical team, a patient can customize their vision based on their lifestyle and vision goals. The adjustments and final lock-in take just a few minutes and usually result in a more customized visual outcome than other lens options.
VIP is ahead of the field in using this exciting technology, and many of our VIP surgeons offer this lens type for patients who select it for their cataract surgery.
Medication for Geographic Atrophy
Geographic atrophy (GA) is an irreversible, advanced form of age-related macular degeneration. GA causes loss of sharpness of vision, a dark or blind spot in an individual’s central vision, and difficulty driving, reading, or doing other activities that rely on central vision.
Until recently, GA didn’t have an approved treatment. In February 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first-ever treatment, SYFOVRE. The approval of this medication is the most important development in retinal ophthalmology in years.
Blue Ocean Clinical Research (BOCR), a VIP research center, has been involved in clinical research of SYFOVRE since 2018 and was one of the first study sites. BOCR worked with Apellis Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer, through the FDA approval process.
SYFOVRE only requires dosing every 25-60 days, and it slows down the growth of lesions and delays the progression of GA.
The cornea is the outer layer at the front of the eye. It helps focus light rays to the retina, which then transmits the picture to the brain. However, if the cornea is damaged, it can prevent light from reaching the retina, resulting in distorted or unclear pictures being transmitted to the brain.
Corneal transplants can help improve vision problems caused by a damaged cornea, treat severe infections, and relieve pain. The procedure involves removing all or part of the damaged cornea and replacing it with healthy donor tissue.
An optional test that VIP patients can request is Optos ultra-widefield retinal imaging. This is also known as an optomap image.
This type of imaging enables ophthalmologists to discover, diagnose, and treat vision problems that may usually go unidentified during traditional eye exams using traditional equipment. This thorough exam is quick and effective, and it enables physicians to have a better understanding of the patient’s eye health, enabling them to treat problems earlier.
Ready to Join a Constantly Evolving Career Field?
At VIP, patient care and new technology in ophthalmology that supports patient care are of utmost importance to us. If you have a passion for helping others and want to be a part of an in-demand, evolving career, take a look at our careers page and apply today to join our team!