There was absent an effective system of early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy was absent in many regions of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Diabetes Federation (UDF) launched a free screening using a mobile laboratory equipped with modern ophthalmic equipment (VISUCAM 500 Carl Zeiss eye camera, SL 115 Carl Zeiss slit lamp, Keeler Pulsair Intel Puff eye pneumotonometer) for early diagnosis of eye pathologies. The advantage of the unique mobile laboratory is that it is not the patient who has to look for an opportunity to check his or her vision, but the laboratory "looks for" the patient wherever he or she is. Any patient with diabetes can contact the Mobile Eye Laboratory in their area, sign the patient's Informed Consent to allow specialists to collect and work with their personal data. Patient data is transferred to the Data Processing Center in ophthalmology clinics, where doctors analyze the results and formulate individual recommendations for each patient, who can be called for treatment by mail, e-mail or SMS.
TherDep 5 medical information system used in the Mobile Eye Laboratory.
"The Mobile Ophthalmology Laboratory started its work in Vinnytsia region. Screening was carried out in all districts of the region, a total of 29 visits (by the end of 2014). A total of 1254 people were examined, including 1191 diabetics. 560 cases of diabetic retinopathy were detected (stage I - 382 people, stage II - 66 people, stage III - 112 people). 32 cases of diabetic cataracts, 230 cases of diabetic maculopathy. In addition, other vision pathologies not related to diabetes were diagnosed: age-related macular degeneration - 83, age-related cataract - 503, hypertensive angiopathy - 405, glaucoma - 111, optic nerve atrophy, subatrophy - 16, retinal degeneration - 24, and others.
Statistical information on the distribution of complications among patients with diabetes mellitus (registry) is being accumulated for pharmacoeconomic studies to develop proposals for the National Action Plan to combat blindness caused primarily by diabetes mellitus.
The Eye Mobile Laboratory project was implemented thanks to a financial grant from Novartis, the UDF team, the Vinnytsia Governor and the Vinnytsia Endocrinology Center.
By 2030 it is predicted that the number of people suffering from diabetes in Europe will rise from 55.2 million in 2010 to 66.2 million. As a direct result DME cases are expected to increase proportionately.
As you may be aware the risk of visual loss in people with diabetes is up to 25 times higher than the population not affected by Diabetes.
Today about 11% of the people living with diabetes have DME, and up to 3% actually suffer from severe loss of vision because of DME.
Another issue, we would like to voice our concern about is related to patient safety and the principle of patient informed consent.
Whilst licensed treatment exists, experience has shown that patients и have frequently been treated with an unlicensed product without being fully informed.
From a health economics perspective, the annual costs per DME patient are approximately twice as high as those with diabetes alone.
Furthermore, the loss of vision related to DME severely impacts the patient's quality of life, constraining them in daily activities such as reading the newspaper, cooking or driving. Many of those visually impaired have to give up their jobs, hereby creating additional costs in welfare provision.
Although the disease can damage the retina permanently, and even lead to blindness, DME is reversible when caught in its early stages and treated appropriately.
This is why it is important that the disease is timely diagnosed and monitored. Having recorded an extremely low rate of legally blind patients, successful national eye screening systems have proven that it is possible to prevent DME and other forms of diabetic retinopathy related vision loss.