A retinal imaging digicam positioned at a free medical clinic in North Charleston helps to stop blindness amongst diabetic sufferers.
Harvest Free Medical Clinic serves as a security internet clinic for individuals who lack insurance coverage or the monetary sources to pay for medical care. Dr. Martin Smith, medical director for the clinic, stated the clinic strives to construct a relationship with sufferers whereas offering care.
“The will for us right here on the clinic is to take wonderful care of sufferers; to get to know them over an extended time frame,” Dr. Smith stated. “To assist them within the midst of this season of their life and to reveal the love of Jesus as we do this.”
Most of the sufferers who search care at Harvest Free Medical Clinic are diabetic. They’re amongst an estimated 34 million individuals in america who’ve the life-threatening situation. Lengthy-term problems of diabetes embody heart problems, nerve injury and eye injury. Individuals who expertise diabetic retinopathy could finally go blind.
Dr. Smith stated for a lot of sufferers within the early phases of diabetic retinopathy, there might not be any signs in any respect and that’s the reason screening is vital.
“If we are able to discover it earlier than signs begin, then hopefully we are able to truly do one thing about it,” Dr. Smith stated.
Dr. Jeffrey Blice, M.D., and Scientific Professor of Ophthalmology on the Medical University of South Carolina, stated a Duke Endowment Grant made it attainable to start out a telehealth imaging system on the free clinic. Utilizing a retinal imaging digicam, photos are taken of sufferers eyes after which these pictures are despatched to medical doctors at MUSC.
“We have now truly detected fairly extreme illness in those that in any other case would have brought on them to go blind,” Dr. Blice stated.
He stated saving even three or 4 individuals in a yr from going blind is a big profit each to sufferers and to the healthcare system due to the prices related to caring for blind sufferers all through their lifetime.
“The good thing about telehealth is capturing these individuals who could have illness in order that we are able to try to deal with them,” Dr. Blice stated.