Diabetic Retinopathy Research Projects

A woman in traditional robes sits on the ground following cataract surgery

To successfully tackle DR blindness, health systems need to have strong links between general medical services, where people with diabetes are identified and referred, and eye care services that deliver DR diagnoses and management. People with diabetes need to navigate several steps in that journey that will lead to preventing vision loss from DR.

ICEH research on DR is focused on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the burden of DR is disproportionally increasing, and DR services are less developed.

Our DR research projects cover several areas. We conduct evidence synthesis to explore the interventions and practices that are already in place for screening, referral and management of people with diabetes in the context of LMICs. This has been done through systematic and rapid reviews of evidence which summarize the current published evidence on DR in LMICs.

We also conduct clinical trials to test innovative interventions which can improve the different steps on the journey of a person with diabetes towards visual loss prevention. Examples of this are the use of peer-led interventions to increase the uptake of dilated retinal examination or the use of artificial intelligence supported interventions to increase the uptake of eye clinic attendance from screening programmes.

Our research also generates evidence arising from the real-life implementation of large scale DR programmes, like the Trust India programme or the DR-NET which includes over twenty DR programmes in Africa, Asia, Pacific and the Caribbean.

Diabetic Retinopathy in Kenya: assessment of services and interventions to improve access
Diabetic Retinopathy Services in Sri Lanka
Diabetic Retinopathy in India: The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust DR Project
Informing practice and policy in low-resource settings: Rapid reviews of the diabetic retinopathy evidence
Artificial Intelligence-Supported Diabetic Retinopathy Screening in Tanzania: A Randomised Controlled Trial