Wills Survey Reveals Ophthalmology Trends for 2018 and Beyond
Wills Eye Hospital Reveals Ophthalmology Trends for 2018 and Beyond
A survey of ophthalmologists found that most patients do not seek preventative eye care treatment, and more
PHILADELPHIA – January 11, 2018 – A survey of ophthalmologists conducted by Wills Eye Hospital and Ocular Surgery News uncovered current realities and forward-looking trends in the field of ophthalmology.
“The survey data confirmed many of the assumptions that ophthalmologists may already have based on their experience, and it exposed the top-of-mind trends in our field,” said Dr. Julia Haller, ophthalmologist-in-chief at Wills Eye Hospital. “We look forward to seeing how these trends play out in the coming year.”
More than 200 ophthalmologists responded to the survey. Among the results were four key takeaways with big implications for ophthalmologists and other eye care specialists.
For Patients, Preventative Eye Care is Not a Priority
According to the results, most patients do not seek preventative eye care treatment and only visit an eye care specialist when they have a specific problem. Only 10 percent of respondents said that patients were very proactive in seeking preventative care for their eye health, and only 7.2 percent of respondents said patients come in without an existing, serious eye concern.
Reputation Generates Referrals
The majority of survey respondents (53.9 percent) identified ranking clinical specialty expertise as the most important factor in where they refer patients. Additionally, the individual reputation of specialists carries more weight than overall eye care institutional reputation as patients and ophthalmologists want referrals to institutions with high levels of clinical expertise from well-regarded clinical specialists.
Telemedicine is Trending
The majority of ophthalmologists surveyed believe that providing health care virtually with the help of technology will become increasingly popular in the next several years. While only 3.2 percent of ophthalmologists surveyed reported very frequent use of telemedicine, 61.8 percent agreed that it would have a larger role in the future.
The Role of Genetics is Changing
Many of the ophthalmologists surveyed (33.6 percent) believe that the role of genetics in clinical practice will be the biggest change to eye care in the next five years. Meanwhile, only 2.9 percent of survey respondents cited the role of artificial intelligence or machine learning as a major change to eye care in the immediate future.
“As leaders in the field of ophthalmology, we prioritize continuous advancement and staying on top of what matters to physicians,” said Joe Bilson, Wills Eye Hospital CEO. “We want to better understand and help patients better understand the importance of ophthalmology to overall health and wellness.”
The entirety of the survey can be found on the Ocular Surgery News website.
About Wills Eye Hospital
Wills Eye Hospital is a global leader in ophthalmology, established in 1832 as the nation’s first hospital specializing in eye care. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Wills Eye as one of America’s top ophthalmology centers since the survey began. Wills Eye has the most nationally ranked ophthalmologists in the country. It is a premier training site for all levels of medical education and its resident and post-graduate training programs are among the most competitive in the country. Wills provides the full range of primary and subspecialty eye care for improving and preserving sight, including cataract, cornea, retina, emergency care, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, oculoplastics, pathology, pediatric ophthalmology and ocular genetics, and refractive surgery. Ocular Services include the Wills Laser Correction Center, Low Vision Service and Diagnostic Center. Its 24/7 Emergency Service is the only one of its kind in the region. Wills Eye also has a network of nine multi-specialty, ambulatory surgery centers throughout the tristate area. To learn more, please visit WillsEye.org.