Picture perfect: sharing the best ophthalmic images

1 February 2024
Winter 2024

Kaye McIntosh on tackling the lack of standardisation when sharing ophthalmic images.

Digital imaging plays a crucial role in eye care referrals. Dr Paramdeep Bilkhu MCOptom, Clinical Adviser for the College, says: “Our ability to detect and monitor common eye diseases is reliant on imaging technology.” But there’s a problem. “As imaging devices and viewing platforms do not communicate well with each other, accessing clinically relevant information is a challenge.

“There is no standardisation across ophthalmic images, imaging devices or viewing technologies, which means there’s no easy way to exchange or successfully view ophthalmic images within and between primary and secondary care.” 

Zoe Richmond MCOptom, Clinical Director of the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU), says: “Improved connectivity between optometry and ophthalmology is something the sector has long been calling for and, for optimal patient care, it’s important the communication flows both ways. Over the past few years we have seen significant progress, but there are areas still reliant on paper and others still sending referrals via the GP.”

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