Medical Office Assistant Jacy Icenogle tests the Digital Diagnostics’, IDx-DR system now providing exams within 32 OSF HealthCare locations.ALTON – OSF HealthCare is offering advanced technology for people with diabetes to get an exam to check for diabetic retinopathy and macular edema when visiting their primary care provider or endocrinologist. Diabetic retinopathy is the number one cause of blindness for adults in the U.S.

The IDx-DR software developed by the Iowa-based startup Digital Diagnostics analyzes photos of the retina and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate the extent of damage to blood vessels that might occur from high sugar levels in the blood caused by diabetes. The test typically takes a few minutes, and in most, but not all cases, doesn’t require the eyes to be dilated. The company was the first to receive FDA authorization to market the novel autonomous AI technology.

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Mark Meeker, DO, vice president of Community Medicine at OSF HealthCare, says many patients with diabetes put off going to an additional appointment at a different office to get a dilated eye exam every year or two as recommended. He reached out to OSF Innovation for a solution and the team found and vetted IDx-DR to serve as a solution. This service provides a one-stop, convenient approach for patients.

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Meeker stresses, “Early detection and prevention can prolong and even save vision.

“We know from the pilot we launched through OSF Innovation at eight locations last May that nearly one-quarter of all patients with diabetes who received the IDx-DR exam tested positive for diabetic retinopathy.” Meeker adds. “There are interventions such as laser treatment and medication that can make a difference if an individual tests positive early enough, but prevention through better diabetes management is our goal.”

A grant from DKBmed and Regeneron has allowed OSF HealthCare to expand diabetic retinopathy exams using IDx-DR to 32 locations including Alton and Godfrey.

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