At 100% Optical at the end of February, we were lucky enough to run into Vasuki Sivagnanavel, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at The Royal Eye Unit, Kingston Hospital, shortly after her presentation: 'Diagnostic insights with retinal ultra-widefield multimodal imaging - perspectives from an optometrist and ophthalmologist'.


Following the event, we were able to ask Vasuki a few more contextual questions surrounding her subject and experience of 100%. Scroll down to the bottom to watch our 'on-the-spot' interview.


1. What are the key benefits you expect to see from having the 100% Ophthalmology programme co-located alongside 100% Optical?

Having professionals from both ophthalmology and optical fields in one location, means there is greater opportunity for collaborative discussions, knowledge exchange and interdisciplinary learning. It also offers a great networking opportunity for professionals in both fields, which in the long run can lead to innovative and integrated approaches to patient care.


2. How does multimodal imaging enable both optometrists and ophthalmologists to guide and manage multidisciplinary patient care, and are there any differences between how the two practices use this imaging?

Multimodal retinal imaging can play an essential role in enhancing collaboration between optometrists and ophthalmologists, particularly in the context of establishing effective referral pathways and improving efficiencies within both types of practices. With access to advanced imaging modalities like ultra-widefield retinal imaging and optical coherence tomography (OCT), optometrists can provide comprehensive assessments of retinal health, enabling them to accurately detect and monitor various eye conditions before referring patients on to an ophthalmologist, as needed.

This capability not only alleviates the strain on ophthalmologists, but also fosters a closer working relationship between the primary and secondary eyecare providers. By equipping optometrists with multimodal imaging technology such as Optos’ ultra-widefield imaging, ophthalmologists can rely on them to assist in initial evaluations, triage patients, and determine the most appropriate referral pathway. This collaborative approach aims to ensure that patients receive timely access to specialist care while optimising the use of ophthalmologists' expertise for cases requiring further investigation or treatment. There therefore aren’t significant differences between how optometrist and ophthalmologist led practices will use multimodal retinal imaging tools, except that ophthalmologists are likely to be more familiar with how more complex or rare eye conditions may present and may use a larger range of the different modalities available with these imaging devices.  

In essence, multimodal imaging empowers both optometrists and ophthalmologists to work co-operatively, leveraging technology to streamline patient management and enhance overall clinical outcomes. By integrating these tools into primary care settings, the burden on ophthalmologists is lightened, allowing us to focus on more complex cases, while simultaneously improving the quality and accessibility of eye care services for patients.


3. What are the key ophthalmic takeaways you wanted to deliver with your session?

In my session, the aim was to dive into some common retinal pathologies, providing the audience with diagnostic clues and insights for effective management. Multimodal imaging is now the standard of practice in the management of retinal diseases, and this session will spotlight its pivotal role through the presentation of diverse clinical cases, ranging from macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy to retinal detachment and beyond, we aim to elucidate key diagnostic features and highlight the nuanced distinctions crucial for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment strategies.

I went through a spectrum of cutting-edge imaging modalities, including high-resolution swept-source optical coherence tomography (SSOCT) focused on the macular region, navigated SSOCT scans offering unparalleled views of the peripheral retina, confocal autofluorescence retinal imaging and multicolour ultra-widefield retinal imaging.

This session endeavoured to empower ophthalmic professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the intricate landscape of retinal diseases confidently.


Vasuki discussing her involvement with, and excitement towards, 100% Optical's seminar programme.