Ophthalmology has a numbers problem. The number of people in need of eye care is growing, but the number of ophthalmologists is not.
The primary reason that eye care patient volumes are growing is America’s aging population. As the massive baby boomer generation ages, their risk for eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is rising. By 2050, the number of people in the U.S. with cataracts is expected to double from 24.4 million to about 50 million.1
At the same time, the number of ophthalmologists in the U.S. has held fairly steady in recent years, and it shows no signs of experiencing significant growth anytime soon.
“As the volume imbalance grows between patients and providers in ophthalmology, there is a concern about providers feeling increasingly overwhelmed or burned out,” said Tricia Staples, IBM Watson Health Offering Manager, Eye Care. “At Watson Health, we seek to address this by offering an eye care solution that lets providers easily access the patient information they need, helping them do their work more efficiently and focus on the patient.”
Find out more about this demographic challenge and how ophthalmology practices are looking to meet it in this executive brief
You can also learn more about Merge Eye Care PACS™ on our site
Cataracts. National Eye Institute. National Institutes of Health. Accessed October 2018.