Davos Agenda

How an eye test could help detect heart disease

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A new World Economic Forum report looks at the future of health and healthcare. Image: Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
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Davos Agenda

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

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This article was updated on 14 February 2023.

  • A new World Economic Forum report looks at the future of health and healthcare.
  • It outlines a vision for health and healthcare in 2035, founded in four main strategic pillars, united by a focus on equity.
  • It also calls for greater prevention and earlier diagnosis and highlights the potential of dental and vision care services.

A new World Economic Forum report shows the potential of vision care and dental services to contribute towards the diagnosis of a number of disorders, including heart disease.

Such services, which are less invasive and more cost-effective, can contribute towards earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment of a range of conditions.

"Something as simple and non-invasive as an annual vision care exam is about so much more than seeing clearly," Michael Guyette, President and Chief Executive Officer, VSP Vision, said in the report. "Through it, eye doctors can also detect signs of over 270 serious conditions, including diabetes and heart disease – sometimes even before symptoms appear. And when we can help catch these conditions early, we can empower patients and healthcare systems to reduce costs and improve overall health outcomes."

The report, Global Health and Healthcare Strategic Outlook: Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, also outlines a vision for health and healthcare in 2035.

Have you read?

Keeping an eye on your health

The American Academy of Ophthalmology lists 20 health problems that an eye exam can help diagnose.

These include heart disease, lyme disease, brain tumours and diabetes.

For example, examing the retina for microscopic marks left behind by an eye stroke can be be a marker of heart disease, as they're found in higher numbers in those with the condition.

Scientists also believe there's potential to use retinal imaging to detect Alzheimer's disease, according to an article published in Ophthalmology Times Europe.

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Healthcare by 2035

The Forum's report lays out a vision for health and healthcare by 2035. It's formed of four main strategic pillars, with equity overlaid across all of them.

  • Equitable access and outcomes
  • Healthcare system transformation
  • Technology and innovation
  • Environmental sustainability
Davos 2023 ; The vision for health and healthcare in 2035 is formed of four main strategic pillars, with equity as the foundational goal
A vision for healthcare. Image: World Economic Forum

Health and healthcare was a key topic at Davos 2023. Watch sessions on the pandemic, health equity and the link between health and climate change.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

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Davos AgendaGlobal Health
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