Published in Research

iDetective campaign targets early keratoconus diagnosis

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2 min read

Launched in June 2023 by Glaukos Corporation, the new iDetective campaign is looking to educate optometrists on the early signs—”clues”—of keratoconus to support earlier diagnosis in patients.

To discuss the critical mission of this initiative, Glance President Jackie Garlich, OD, FAAO, spoke with Roberto “Bobby” Saenz, OD, MS, FAAO, a “keratoconus iDetective.”

Let’s start with its purpose.

The iDetective campaign’s focuses on optometrists’ role as “iDetectives” to look for signs of early keratoconus in their patients, and, as a result, intervene with treatments that not only manage the disease, but possibly slow or even halt its progression.

The initiative includes digital and print advertising communications (#FollowTheClues) as well as educational content and resources—including auto-refractor and topographer cards—for its target optometric audience.

Dr. Saenz shares more below.

And who are these iDetectives?

Aside from Dr. Saenz, the campaign’s advocates include:

  • Tracy Swartz, OD, MS, FAAO
  • Mitch Ibach, OD, FAAO
  • Bill Tullo, OD, FAAO
  • Susan Gromacki, OD, MS, FAAO, FSLS
  • Gloria Chiu, OD, FAAO, FSLS

Click here to see each doctor’s notes (complete with videos!) on keratoconus “clues” to watch for.

So what are they recommending?

Quite simply: more testing, earlier.

Dr. Saenz offers a few key “clues” he looks for in borderline patients who may show early signs of the disease.

The campaign is also advocating for the use of the first and only FDA-approved, insurance-covered iLink corneal cross-linking (CXL) procedure (by Glaukos) to potentially slow or halt keratoconus progression and preserve vision.

Click here to learn more about finding an iLink provider and how to manage follow-up care for your patients.

So what’s the take home?

Dr. Saenz emphasized that, as optometrists, “ we all see what happens when we don’t diagnose keratoconus early]. And then these patients have to get potentially corneal transplants, and we’ve seen what that looks like.”

He added: “It’s our duty to diagnose keratoconus early and cross-link it early, because it could change patients’ lives.”