PHOENIX – Banner Health introduces the teleophthalmology program, bringing real-time, remote medical eye care expertise to our emergency rooms. In partnership with DigiSight Technologies, a San Francisco-based digital health company, and EyeNet, a group of Phoenix-based community ophthalmologists, we have launched Paxos - a telehealth solution that enables healthcare teams to collaborate and make informed decisions at the point-of-care – at thirteen of our facilities across Arizona.
Our new teleophthalmology program allows emergency room doctors to capture the image of a serious eye injury or other vision disorder, and digitally transfer that image to an ophthalmology expert, improving the overall patient experience with efficiency and timely care. The Paxos technology uses a specialized adapter (FDA Class II registered) that takes pictures of the front of the eye and retina using a smartphone, and includes cloud and mobile-phone based HIPAA-compliant software to allow secure transmission of various vision and ocular tests.
In emergency rooms around the country, patients with serious eye injuries or disorders generally wait hours to receive care from an ophthalmologist or, alternatively, are transferred by ambulance to another facility closer to where an ophthalmologist practices – which can be expensive.
“Sight is one of life’s precious gifts, and it can be seriously impaired or stolen from us due to trauma or disease,” said Pravin Dugel, MD, physician executive director at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix Eye Institute and managing partner at Retinal Consultants of Arizona based in Phoenix. “Emergency rooms are very good at treating and stabilizing many serious health issues, but unfortunately they are not equipped with imaging equipment nor ophthalmology expertise to quickly assess sight-threatening conditions.”
The teleophthalmology program for emergency eye care continues the initiative to provide quality care while reducing costs via telehealth technologies that connect providers in efficient and collaborative workflows.
“This program will help us reduce the time it takes for our patients to have specialist eye care expertise in our emergency rooms,” said Deborah Dahl, patient care innovation vice president at Banner Health and recipient of the American Telemedicine Association Industry Leader Award in 2016. “Paxos is a cost-efficient and very mobile enterprise solution that enables us to capture and share the specific information needed for remote ophthalmic consultations.”
Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns and operates 28 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services; including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com.
Retinal Consultants of Arizona (RCA), established in 1980 in central Phoenix, is one of the nation’s leading Retina & Vitreous clinical research and patient treatment facilities. RCA has grown to include more than 35 locations throughout Arizona, providing improved access to the highest quality medical care.
DigiSight Technologies, Inc., based in San Francisco, is a digital health company developing HIPAA-compliant telehealth solutions for healthcare teams to examine eye health and coordinate patient care in real-time. Developed by renowned ophthalmologists, DigiSight is led by a team of health care and technology veterans and backed by blue-chip investors.