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5G Technology to Conduct Real-Time Teleretinal Laser Photocoagulation to Treat Diabetic Retinopathy

Article Name: Application of 5G Technology to Conduct Real-Time Teleretinal Laser Photocoagulation for the Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy


What are the takeaway points from this article?

Teleophthalmology is a rapidly growing field with applications for screening, evaluation and even remote off-line therapeutic management of eye diseases and conditions. This study is the first application of real-time therapeutic intervention through remote computer control of an automated laser device connected to a fifth-generation wireless network. A total of 6 patients (9 eyes) with diabetic retinopathy underwent remote laser photocoagulation with no report of delays during treatment or adverse events during photocoagulation and no significant change in visual acuity 1-month post op (2 eyes lost to follow-up due to COVID-19 pandemic). The authors recognize that a randomized clinical trial will be necessary to compare outcomes of in-person and remote real-time procedures for wide-spread adaptation. However, as access to technology continues to evolve, this gives a glimpse into future clinical utility for patients in remote areas and the expansion of global health initiatives to areas where specialists are limited.


Reference:

Chen H, Pan X, Yang J, Fan J, Qin M, Sun H, et al. Application of 5G Technology to Conduct Real-Time Teleretinal Laser Photocoagulation for the Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy. JAMA Ophthalmol [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 Sep 11]; Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/2781796


Date Published: July 8, 2021


Summary By: Brooklyn Rawlyk


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