|Freedom Meditech’s ClearPath DS-120 scans a patient’s lens in just six seconds.|
The ClearPath DS-120 is a promising new tool for early detection of the disease.
Newly approved by the FDA, Freedom Meditech’s ClearPath DS-120â„¢ device provides key information about a person’s potential risk of diabetes. The testing is popular with patients because there’s no painful blood draw, dilation of the eye, required fasting, or waiting for a second visit for a result.
The test utilizes a scanning confocal reflectance microscope and eye-safe, long-life, blue-light-emitting diodes; it’s as quick and painless for the optometrist, too. A six-second scan of a patient’s lens provides an instantaneous autofluorescence reading that’s directly correlated with altered glucose metabolism, which is the hallmark of diabetes. The result is a simple, objective color printout that is simple to interpret. Diabetes detection technology has finally caught up with the times.
GETTING AHEAD OF THE DISEASE
It’s a smart idea for ECPs to make diabetes screening a top priority, considering that 20% of all diabetes cases are detected with some stage of retinopathy, a key complication of the disease. Retinopathy, though, doesn’t become evident until the disease has already progressed beyond early detection and the potential for intervention. That’s why the ClearPath DS-120 is so useful, as it allows ECPs to discover the disease up to seven years before a usual symptomatic detection would be made.
The optometric world has a unique opportunity to make a difference in treating this disease, as diabetes often develops around the same age that many seek our services for a range of adult-based vision problems. Our offices already actively monitor blood pressure, offer advice on nutritional supplements, and promote tobacco cessation counseling, so there’s no reason we shouldn’t also be tackling the diabetes epidemic by administering this noninvasive, six-second test and identifying those at risk as well as those already burdened by this disease. Since more people get eye evaluations than blood tests, the ClearPath DS-120 can be instrumental in making ODs key players in the early identification of prediabetes.
A BOOST IN RECALL
Chronic-care patients and those who are 40 and older tend to be more compliant with recall, as we see with those seeking glaucoma treatment. Diabetes is a four-times larger problem in the same population, but patients don’t always race back to their doctors for their blood draws. Those who have experienced the ClearPath DS-120, however, tend to have a higher annual return rate since they’re familiar with the ease and convenience of the machine. Diagnosed diabetics coming back for the standard of care annual eye exam represents a highly reimbursed visit, too, so it even makes sense to invest in creating a diabetes niche from a practice management and business point of view.
Working more closely with our primary- and secondary-care colleagues on the diabetes front can only improve the medical world’s success in identifying the one-in-three people who are at risk of developing diabetes. Early intervention is essential to helping patients avert physical complications. It also saves them money on medicines and treatments in the long run. In turn, early diagnosis with the help of the ClearPath DS-120 offers optometry a chance to expand the medical model of patient care shared by all in the health industry.
Kenneth Daniels is an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor and National Eye Institute Clinical Investigator at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He is in private practice in Hopewell and Lambertville, NJ.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Freedom Meditech, Inc.