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Neuro-ophthalmology transformed: what the dramatic rise in telehealth use means for care

After the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, the use of virtual care by neuro-ophthalmologists increased 17-fold. The specialty, like many others within neurology, has been changed for good and in many ways, for the better.

The pandemic forced us to massively accelerate the adoption of virtual care, or telehealth, and develop ways to apply it appropriately, so that we can continue to provide patients with access to effective care.1,2 The lessons learned, alongside ongoing innovations in digital health, have resulted in a series of recently published papers offering guidance on neuro-ophthalmic telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.2-5

Charting the rise

Before examining this guidance, let us quickly look at the recently published data on the exponential growth in the uptake of neuro-ophthalmic virtual care. A total of 208 practicing neuro-ophthalmologists (81.3% in the USA) competed an online survey sent to members of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS).2