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Digital Eye Health

Digital Eye Health: towards remote monitoring in eyecare (project Top Sector Life Sciences & Health)

A successful societal uptake of digital eye health requires a robust and safe telemonitoring platform that addresses the needs of its users. Patients request a simple tool that works intuitively with little external instructions. Doctors need a dataflow fully integrated in the electronic health record, and both need to develop trust in the validity and safety of remote monitoring. These requirements are addressed in this project.

Background
The major consequence of the COVID-19 crisis for this profession is the acutely reduced access to eyecare. This global event catalysed the paradigm shift towards remote (eye)care, where technology is used to deliver appropriate care and retain the continuity of care for the patients. The UMC Utrecht is the research partner of Easee BV, a Dutch start-up that developed a unique CE-1m-certified web-based eyetest. Its quality and safety are reported in several clinical studies, though the tool needs significant improvements to function in a healthcare environment.

Objective
To rapidly make available remote eye care for patients and their doctors in the current COVID-19 crisis, to support availability and accessibility of eye care in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, and to improve the existing tool into a clinically validated and integrated platform, enabling the heralded sustainable digital transition in eye health. Technical Readiness Level: 5 -7

Anticipated social and economic impact
The current COVID-19 crisis has profound consequences for the health and mobility of (elderly) population at risk in whom ophthalmic diseases are highly prevalent (1.3 million unique patients yearly in NL). Telemonitoring will increase their access to eyecare and enables treatment from the comfort of their own homes. In addition, the platform helps doctors to optimise the allocation of scarce hospital/staff facilities. A maximal saving of €200 per prevented clinical visit is calculated (€140 in hospital facilities, and €85 societal/patient costs, minus €25 fee per online evaluation). True economic impact will be researched in a health technology assessment.

Alliance Institutes involved: UMCU
PI: Robert Wisse

Collaboration partner: Easee BV (https://www.easee.online/nl/), Health Holland

More information:
Third place in KVK Innovation Top 100 in 2020: https://www.kvkinnovatietop100.nl/site/Easee-Meet-je-ogen-voortaan-thuis
https://www.health-holland.com/project/2020/digital-eye-health-towards-remote-monitoring-in-eyecare