New digital models of care in ophthalmology, during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

Br J Ophthalmol. 2022 Apr;106(4):452-457. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2020-317683. Epub 2021 Mar 22.


COVID-19 has led to massive disruptions in societal, economic and healthcare systems globally. While COVID-19 has sparked a surge and expansion of new digital business models in different industries, healthcare has been slower to adapt to digital solutions. The majority of ophthalmology clinical practices are still operating through a traditional model of 'brick-and-mortar' facilities and 'face-to-face' patient-physician interaction. In the current climate of COVID-19, there is a need to fuel implementation of digital health models for ophthalmology. In this article, we highlight the current limitations in traditional clinical models as we confront COVID-19, review the current lack of digital initiatives in ophthalmology sphere despite the presence of COVID-19, propose new digital models of care for ophthalmology and discuss potential barriers that need to be considered for sustainable transformation to take place.

Keywords: Covid-19; diagnostic tests/investigation; public health; telemedicine; vision.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Ophthalmology*
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Telemedicine*