Ms. Jennifer Foster reports
MCI ONEHEALTH AND EUCLID TELEHEALTH COLLABORATE TO IMPROVE PATIENT VISION OUTCOMES THROUGH DATA-DRIVEN SCREENING
MCI Onehealth Technologies Inc. and eye health specialist Euclid Telehealth are collaborating to increase access to care that can curtail and potentially prevent vision loss among Ontario patients. The approach contributes to improved health outcomes, better quality of life and significant cost avoidance for the health care system.
"Quick, convenient access to specialists with top-quality continuity of care is a cornerstone of the patient experience in MCI's high-performance health care network. Through data-driven screening, MCI is helping physicians connect with patients that have potentially heightened risk of certain diseases, so our physicians can get them onto the right care pathways," said Jennifer Foster, chief operating officer of MCI. "MCI is firmly committed to our mission to make health care more accessible, affordable and ultimately safer and we're grateful for innovative partners like Euclid who share this goal."
MCI is using its data insights infrastructure to help family physicians identify patients within their practices that might be at risk for eye disease. Patients are then contacted by MCI to confirm their interest in attending a diagnostic session provided by Euclid at the MCI clinic. Euclid brings its portable diagnostic equipment and expert ophthalmologists. This physician-directed care pathway is so convenient and personalized that it encourages patient uptake of the service, with MCI and Euclid seeing up to 20 patients at each screening day. After the eye health assessment, Euclid ophthalmologists co-ordinate with the patient and their MCI physician for further appropriate monitoring, or any follow-up care with a local optometrist or ophthalmologist. To date, hundreds of patients have gone through the program, including several for whom blindness might be prevented. Euclid-day clinics at MCI sites happen based on patient need, currently occurring about once per week at multiple sites.
"Early on, eye disease is not apparent to a person, and without screening can go undiagnosed until the disease is more advanced and vision loss is irreversible. Early detection, diagnosis and timely management of many eye conditions minimizes vision loss, and in some cases, can even restore vision," said Dr. Delan Jinapriya, ophthalmologist, surgeon and founder, Euclid Telehealth. "Through a partnership with MCI, we're identifying specific patient need and bringing the specialist to them. Through this innovative, patient-centred approach that improves access to eye health services, we're reducing the incidence and slowing the progression of vision loss in the population."
Additionally, MCI and Euclid promote awareness of the risk factors and diagnostic options to potential patients outside of the MCI network and among MCI staff and physicians, such that even first-time patients with appropriate risk factors can be flagged and offered the right care pathway.
Prevention of eye disease is an important health and economic initiative:
- One in five Canadians will develop significant, preventable vision loss in their lifetime.
- More than eight million Canadians are currently living with eye disease from one of the four defined main conditions, of which 1.2 million have vision loss from their disease.
- The prevalence of eye disease doubles every decade over the age of 40, which underscores the need for vision screening.
- Increasing prevalence of vision loss for patients leads to increased falls, motor vehicle accidents, depression, loss of mobility and earlier death. There is a 29-per-cent-higher risk of mortality for those with vision loss compared with those with unimpaired vision.
- It is estimated that the total cost of vision loss in Canada was $32.9-billion in 2019, and is expected to grow to $56-billion by 2050.
- Approximately 71 per cent of the total costs (well-being and health care system) due to vision loss are preventable.
- With screening and early diagnosis, disease progression and vision loss often can be curtailed for prevalent eye diseases, including:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which left untreated leads to blindness;
- Diabetic retinopathy (DR), a complication of diabetes;
- Glaucoma, a group of diseases that, while initially asymptomatic, damage the eye's optic nerve and results in blindness.
MCI's collaboration with Euclid is another example of MCI's data-driven approach making a real impact for actual patients: disease screening, quick referral to specialists and personalized treatment. This approach helps identify, treat and monitor illness before it can further progress, creating economic savings on many levels. Similar data-driven programs are under way within the MCI network related to other specialty areas.
Onehealth Technologies Inc.
MCI is a health care technology company focused on empowering patients and doctors with advanced technologies to increase access, improve quality and reduce health care costs. As part of the health care community for over 30 years, MCI operates one of Canada's leading primary care networks with nearly 260 physicians and specialists, serves more than one million patients annually, and had nearly 300,000 telehealth visits last year, including on-line visits via
the MCI website. MCI additionally offers an expanding suite of occupational health service offerings that support a growing list of nearly 600 corporate customers. Led by a proven management team of doctors and experienced executives, MCI remains focused on executing a strategy centred around acquiring technology and health services that complement the company's current road map.
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