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In Asia-Pacific journal of ophthalmology (Philadelphia, Pa.)

PURPOSE : The COVID-19 pandemic has put strain on healthcare systems and the availability and allocation of healthcare manpower, resources and infrastructure. With immediate priorities to protect the health and safety of both patients and healthcare service providers, ophthalmologists globally were advised to defer nonurgent cases, while at the same time managing sight-threatening conditions such as neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The management of AMD patients both from a monitoring and treatment perspective presents a particular challenge for ophthalmologists. This review looks at how these pressures have encouraged the acceptance and speed of adoption of digitalization.

DESIGN AND METHODS : A literature review was conducted on the use of digital technology during COVID-19 pandemic, and on the transformation of medicine, ophthalmology and AMD screening through digitalization.

RESULTS : In the management of AMD, the implementation of artificial intelligence and "virtual clinics" have provided assistance in screening, diagnosis, monitoring of the progression and the treatment of AMD. In addition, hardware and software developments in home monitoring devices has assisted in self-monitoring approaches.

CONCLUSIONS : Digitalization strategies and developments are currently ongoing and underway to ensure early detection, stability and visual improvement in patients suffering from AMD in this COVID-19 era. This may set a precedence for the post COVID-19 new normal where digital platforms may be routine, standard and expected in healthcare delivery.

Sim Shaun Sebastian, Yip Michelle Yt, Wang Zhaoran, Tan Anna Cheng Sim, Tan Gavin Siew Wei, Cheung Chui Ming Gemmy, Chakravarthy Usha, Wong Tien Yin, Teo Kelvin Yi Chong, Ting Daniel Sw