Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the most specific pathological changes of diabetes mellitus, which has been used as the reference pathology for defining diabetic diagnostic cutting point (threshold) of fasting plasma glucose (FPG), 2-h post oral glucose load plasma glucose (2-h PG) and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). With the development of high-quality non-invasive digital fundus photography technology and quality-assured DR assessment technologies, it will be possible that this critical reference indicator be applied as an important routine systemic assessment tool for general diabetes care, in addition to FPG, 2-h PG and HbA1c.
Routine photographic monitoring of DR changes in general diabetes care may also be used as a effective tool for patient education, which may significantly increase patient compliance for diabetic care, and therefore a better diabetes control.
Fundus photography facility is required for general diabetes care. Two different approaches (modules) of DR image diagnosis with systemic quality controls have been developed for the purpose of general diabetes care, i.e., the clinicians’ image reading and the independent third-party image diagnosis service. Simplified ETDRS grading system with optional automatic quantitative measurement of the individual elements of early DR pathologies have been employed for the DR image diagnosis to meet the needs of general diabetes care. Patients with sight-threatening diabetic retinal pathologies will be referred for ophthalmic service.
Program Administration: BDCI