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February 2014

The New Patent Law May Accelerate Innovation in Ophthalmology

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2ROI Squared, LLC, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 3currently at Perelman School of Medicine and the Leonard Davis Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014;132(2):137-138. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.5645

Ophthalmic practice has changed significantly during the last 30 years. Sparks of innovation and a spirit of creativity have fueled the transformation of our field. When treating patients with glaucoma, for example, current surgical alternatives are far safer than the full-thickness filters of the past. With regard to diagnostics, the optic nerves of patients with glaucoma can be followed up using imaging devices that can detect early changes either in the contour of the disc or in the thickness of the nerve fiber layer. This is a critical advance over the more qualitative approach of comparing disc photographs, especially since skilled ophthalmic photographers are scarce. These are just a few of the changes that have led to better patient outcomes and a more cost-effective delivery of care.

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