Ophthalmologists urged to embrace change

2020 Peter Barry Memorial Lecture discusses healthcare in the post COVID-19 world

Dermot McGrath

Posted: Friday, December 11, 2020

Malvina Eydelman MD

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the delivery of ophthalmic care over the past year, accelerating the use of telemedicine, artificial intelligence and digital health applications as ophthalmologists try to adjust to the new normal, said Malvina Eydelman MD in her 2020 Peter Barry Memorial Lecture.
Dr Eydelman MD, Director of the Office for Ophthalmic, ENT, Anaesthesia, Respiratory and Dental Devices, Food and Drug Administration in the United States told her online audience that there would be no return to the status quo before COVID-19.
“I think it soon became clear after the first wave of infections had passed that we were not returning to pre-COVID norms and that we would now have to develop the process of providing patient care in a new normal. Of great concern was finding that an estimated 41% of adults in the United States had delayed or avoided medical care, including urgent emergency care, due to COVID concerns. It was becoming rapidly clear that health care systems and regulatory bodies around the world had to rapidly adopt new ways to take care of our patients,” she said.
In a wide-ranging lecture, Dr Eydelman discussed how advances such as artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to improve eyecare while avoiding many of the pitfalls associated with new technologies.
Hosted every year by the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Dublin, the Peter Barry Memorial Lecture was established to honour the memory of Dr Barry, a founding member and past president of the ESCRS, who passed away in 2016. A world-renowned ophthalmologist, teacher and innovator, Dr Barry served as senior retinal surgeon at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Dublin, and was the driving force behind the landmark ESCRS study proving the benefit of prophylactic antibiotics in reducing endophthalmitis after cataract surgery.

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