Investigation of remote diabetic retinopathy screening implementation on British Columbia healthcare costs
Fifty percent of diabetic patients are expected to develop some level of a vision threatening problem known as diabetic retinopathy (DR). Although blindness caused by DR is very common amongst diabetic patients, it is preventable in at least 90% of the patients through annual screening and proper follow up. However, financial burdens, lack of access to a specialist (specially in remote areas) to perform routine checkup and the specialists busy schedules make it almost impossible for many patients to follow up properly on the status of their disease. To this end, a comprehensive study will be performed to analyze the effect of insufficient DR screening on BC healthcare costs. Then a cost-benefit analysis will be utilized to investigate the effectiveness of new reimbursement codes related to DR screening in primary care clinics and remote interpretation. Finally, the study will include the development of an intelligent DR screening technique.