How Virtual Visits, Port Delivery System Therapy Can Benefit Retina Practices

Arshad Khanani, MD, MA, explains how new measures made available to ophthalmology will help address a quickly growing patient population.

The design of the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) 2021 Scientific Meeting came to represent the practices of modern ophthalmologists: available for in-person interaction, but fully available on remote platforms.

The hybrid version of the annual retina meeting amid the COVID-19 pandemic led to experts reflecting on how their practices have adapted in the last 2 years—and how some of that may be for the best.

In an interview with HCPLive during ASRS 2021, Arshad M. Khanani, MD, MA, managing partner of Sierra Eye Associates, discussed how the US’ aging population is driving rates of vision loss-risk patients and hindering clinicians’ opportunity to adequately treat individuals.

“If you can cut the visit burden down to about 2 visits per year, I think that’s going to be huge for the patients, as well as the clinics where we’re so busy where we continue to get new patients on a daily basis,” he said.

Enter the value of remote ophthalmic marker monitoring, which is being investigated for optical coherence tomography (OCT) and is already in place for visual acuity via numerous regulated apps.

Additionally, the introduction of long-term, durable, injection-reducing methods of anti-VEGF administration such as the port delivery system (PDS) may keep patients’ retina care visits at a more efficient rate.

“I think that’s the whole goal here, is to decrease not only the treatment burden of injections, but also clinic visits,” Khanani said. “Some of our colleagues do PRN (pro re nata) treatment visits so, they still bring in patients for OCT. COVID-19 has really shown us that we need more durable treatments for patients with retinal diseases, and PDS perfectly fits there.”