Entitled "Public Health Approaches to Reduce Vision Impairment and Promote Eye Health," the report, to be released in 2016, will examine core principles and public health strategies to reduce visual impairment and promote eye health in the United States as part of an effort to combat the dramatically rising rates of eye diseases.
The following is the official statement of task for the study committee.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) will conduct a consensus study to examine the core principles and public health strategies to reduce visual impairment and promote eye health in the United States. The study will describe limitations and opportunities to improve vision and eye health surveillance; reduce vision and eye health disparities; promote evidence-based strategies to improve knowledge, access and utilization to eye care; identify comorbid conditions and characterize their impact; and promote health for people with vision impairment. The study will also examine the potential for public and private collaborations at the community, state, and national levels to elevate vision and eye health as a public health issue.
Specifically, the committee will examine and make recommendations on the following:
"While RPB's mission is to promote and fund eye research to prevent blindness and restore sight, we recognize that the treatments and cures resulting from RPB's support are best applied strategically," says Brian F. Hofland, PhD, President of Research to Prevent Blindness. "This IOM study complements our efforts, and so the RPB Board of Trustees approved a special grant. We believe that our goals for the common good will be more quickly and more efficiently realized if we act collaboratively with other key stakeholders in the vision health community."
In addition to Research to Prevent Blindness, current sponsors for the IOM study are:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The National Eye Institute
The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research
The American Optometric Association
The National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health
The American Academy of Optometry
The American Academy of Ophthalmology
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
"The incidence of eye disorders will continue to surge due to the aging of the baby boomer generation and the diabetes epidemic," says Hofland. "Huge numbers of people will be personally affected, and the economy will be impacted by medical costs and loss of productivity. As a vision health community, we have to develop the tools to treat these conditions, and also screen for and diagnose these conditions early, so that treatments can be delivered as soon as possible."
February 9, 2015