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Glaucoma Specialist and Public Health Researcher Brian Stagg, MD, is Turning Big Data into Better Care

New tools can help glaucoma doctors analyze patient data to provide precision medicine tailored to each patient.

Improving Glaucoma Care with Brian Stagg, MD

Laser therapies, prescription eye drop medicine, micro-invasive surgery, and nighttime eye pressure monitoring are all ways physicians can treat glaucoma.

But how do they determine which treatments will be the most effective for each patient? The disease progresses at a different pace for each person and monitoring throughout one patient’s lifetime generates thousands of data points about intraocular pressure, corneal thickness, and rates of optic nerve deterioration.

“Making care plans for your patients is not always easy, especially when you’re dealing with a complicated disease like glaucoma,” explains John A. Moran Eye Center glaucoma specialist and public health researcher Brian Stagg, MD. “Though we gain valuable knowledge from patient data, synthesizing and incorporating the data as a physician can be difficult and time-consuming.”

Stagg is using informatics to simplify and streamline decision-making for glaucoma physicians. 

Publishing “Systematic User-centered Design of a Prototype Clinical Decision Support System for Glaucoma” in Ophthalmology Science, Stagg shares an analytic system that aggregates patient data to help physicians determine the best timing for follow-up visual field testing. Stagg, who specialized in glaucoma because he enjoys the close relationships he has with long-term patients, explains the system is intended to be a tool and not the chief decision-maker for treatment.

“Some patients and doctors may feel that computer technology poses a barrier to the provider-patient relationship due to how time-consuming it can be,” explains Stagg. “My goal is to enhance that relationship by allowing glaucoma doctors to more quickly assess the data and adapt it to their patient’s needs. It is personalized medicine at the point of care.”