Dr. Kilpatrick on Today’s Ophthalmology Technology and AI Advancements

January 30, 2024

Ophthalmology has undergone a vast transformation in the 21st century with the integration of cutting-edge technology powering advancements in the field. In our pursuit of staying at the forefront, we engaged in a thought-provoking conversation with Dr. Kilpatrick, a distinguished board-certified ophthalmologist at Louisiana Retina.

Dr. Kilpatrick on Vision Care and Industry Innovations

Q: Thank you for speaking with us today, Dr. Kilpatrick. To start off, we’d love to hear what you consider to be the most significant innovations in vision care technology you’ve seen in the last few years.

Dr. Kilpatrick: Sure, thank you. I’m impressed with the more effective treatments for wet-type age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema. For the latter, treatments have improved duration and potency substantially.

Also, novel treatments for advanced dry macular degeneration (dry AMD) now aim to slow the progression of geographic atrophy, which is an advanced form of AMD.

Q: Fascinating! Can you discuss the developments and potential benefits associated with emerging technologies like laser eye surgery, gene therapy, or artificial intelligence in the field of ophthalmology?

Dr. Kilpatrick: Gene therapy has the potential to treat rare inherited conditions that target a specific genetic deficiency. It can also be aimed at treating more common conditions, such as wet AMD, by introducing the ability for an eye to make its own molecules that treat the condition.

In terms of AI in ophthalmology, AI has the potential to screen and recommend treatments for retinal conditions like diabetic retinopathy. It can also take a standard photograph of the retina and transform it into a non-invasive fluorescein angiogram image, which could be incredibly valuable.

Q: It sounds like many exciting developments are happening in vision care — particularly AI. How do you stay connected to what’s happening in vision tech innovation?

Dr. Kilpatrick: At Louisiana Retina, we stay connected to the retina community via daily discussion boards that present challenging cases and management strategies. We also stay up to date with the latest research by reading monthly peer-reviewed journals and by going to national conferences.

Q: In your own opinion, why is it important to stay ahead of the curve?

Dr. Kilpatrick: It’s simple. We want to be able to offer the most up-to-date treatment options to our patients that are backed by clinical studies.

Q: Knowledge is key. Now, circling around to eye care as a whole, we’re curious: Are there any myths or misconceptions about eye care that you commonly encounter?

Dr. Kilpatrick: Hmmm. A common question we get in the clinic is, “Can glasses fix my problem?” Eyes with severe retinal conditions can certainly still benefit from glasses, but the vision still may not be “perfect” due to the underlying disorder of the retina.

Q: What common eye conditions or diseases do you frequently encounter in your practice?

Dr. Kilpatrick: We diagnose and manage many different eye conditions, but we most commonly encounter diseases that affect the back of the eye in the retina. These include retinal detachment, retinal tears, floaters, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and uveitis, among many others.

Q: Can you speak about the importance of regular eye examinations for individuals of all ages? What conditions can be detected or prevented early through routine eye exams?

Dr. Kilpatrick: I highly recommend routine screening for at-risk patients. Patients with diabetes should have at least an annual dilated eye exam to check for bleeding in the eye. Patients taking medication such as Plaquenil or Elmiron should also be screened as these medications have side effects of retinal damage. Patients with new changes in vision should also seek out an exam.

 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends routine eye screening beginning at age 40 for individuals without vision problems and who do not have conditions that put them at high risk. Like many diseases affecting the body, conditions in the eye can oftentimes be better managed if caught early.

Q: Do you have any go-to resources you’d like to share with others who want to learn about vision tech and innovations in the vision care industry?

Dr. Kilpatrick: The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Retina Specialists are two great resources for patients to learn more about certain eye conditions.

Q: Well, thank you so much, Dr. Kilpatrick, for sharing your insight and speaking with us. Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

Dr. Kilpatrick: We are always happy to schedule a consultation with one of our retinal specialists for further information on your specific eye condition

 

Please schedule your appointment today with Louisiana Retina to achieve greater vision health.

 

Request your appointment