Kerala Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2021  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 239--241

Connect, collaborate, contribute, and create

V Sudha 
 Department of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. V Sudha
Department of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala

How to cite this article:
Sudha V. Connect, collaborate, contribute, and create.Kerala J Ophthalmol 2021;33:239-241

How to cite this URL:
Sudha V. Connect, collaborate, contribute, and create. Kerala J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 21 ];33:239-241
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Full Text

“No one is big enough to be independent of others.”

-Will Mayo

As this Editorial team reaches the end of its 2 year tenure, I wish to thank each and every member of the team for the excellent teamwork and cooperation I received during this time. Selecting articles, reviewing, writing up sections, proofreading, and encouraging others to contribute, were all done in a timely and effective manner. Hopefully, we have together been able to raise the standards of our Journal. The encouragement and effective suggestions I received from my senior colleagues, timely reviews by expert reviewers from KSOS and outside, played a very important role in keeping the momentum going.

In my final editorial, I would like to highlight this extremely important concept of Teamwork and Collaboration. The concept of Networking for individual professional upliftment is gaining popularity. However, if we can cooperate with each other for the benefit of Ophthalmology as a whole, and patient treatment patterns, in particular, we reach nearer to our shared goal of reducing visual disability.

 Everybody Wins

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes that collaborative practice strengthens health systems and improves health outcomes, and is an innovative strategy that will play an important role in mitigating the global health workforce crisis. The Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice is the product of the WHO Study Group on this practice.[1]

Collaboration is evident when health-care professionals communicate with each other, assume complementary roles to cooperatively work together, and share responsibility for problem-solving and decision-making. Specific collaborative activities include sharing of information, discussion of complicated cases, and referrals to colleagues. The developing concept of Group Practice and its advantages has been highlighted by the President, KSOS, in the following pages of this journal issue.

 Collaborations in Ophthalmology

Being able to take care of the sight of a patient is both a responsibility and a privilege. Because this is our ultimate goal: to eliminate blindness and visual impairement. Many useful examples of cooperation have been seen in Ophthalmology.


Collaboration is vital in driving forward research and innovation seeking to develop solutions to refine the diagnosis, management, and treatment of patients with eye diseases. There is a well-identified need for patient-oriented clinical research and this can only be achieved by creating active collaboration between academic centers with competence for clinical research, with support by an infrastructure that provides appropriate management of clinical trials at a realistic cost. In Ophthalmology, the example was set by the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research (DRCR. net) Retina Network in the USA, formed in 2002 through a National Eye Institute and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases-sponsored cooperative agreement. The objective was to develop a collaborative network to facilitate multicenter clinical research on Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema, and has now been expanded to include research on other retinal diseases. It used the combined strengths of academic and community retina sites in the infrastructure as well as created opportunities for industry collaboration while maintaining rigorous academic independence from pharmaceutical interests.[2] Since 2002, the DRCR. net has initiated and completed numerous multicenter studies in DR with over 160 participating sites and 500 physicians throughout the United States and Canada.

Multicenter Data Retrieval

Data from various sources can be integrated into a common registry and provide important information. Useful applications can be derived too from these. Data derived from the Sight Outcomes Research Collaborative Ophthalmology Data Repository, which captures electronic health record data of all patients receiving any eye care at academic medical centers, was used for developing an algorithm useful in triaging patients in the COVID pandemic based on glaucoma severity and progression risk by identifying patients whose appointments could safely get postponed and facilitated prioritization of appointments for rescheduling.[3]

Clinical Practice Guidelines

We are beginning to work together to develop consensus statements about eye care and train ourselves on how to use best practice guidelines. An international, expert-led consensus initiative was set up by the Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study group to develop systematic, evidence, and experience-based recommendations for the treatment of ocular TB using a modified Delphi technique process.[4]

Sharing Knowledge And Expertise

Improving education and training to raise standards in Ophthalmology worldwide[5],[6] is being followed by many important organizations, and is best exemplified by the online academic resource, EyeWiki, which is a collaboration between the American Academy of Ophthalmology and multiple societies.[7]

Networking for Professional Career Advancement

There is a critical need to help ophthalmologists maintain their competency and learn new skills, forging valuable relationships with peers. Organized mentorship programs can play a key role in fostering the development of careers in ophthalmology.[8] Stronger personal relationships can nurture innovative strategies with colleagues, engage new energy, and maintain momentum when obstacles seem overwhelming.

Public Education

Public–private partnerships can improve population health by advancing public health strategies and policies, improving public health education and advocacy, fostering trust and collaboration among sectors and stakeholders, and improving access to health care.[9]

Newer Technologies

A universal artificial intelligence (AI) platform developed for collaborative management of cataracts involving multilevel clinical scenarios explored an AI-based medical referral pattern to improve collaborative efficiency and resource coverage. It showed robust diagnostic performance and effective service for cataracts.[10]

Learning how to work in teams, brainstorming on issues, and networking with the right people can improve our individual practices. Publications based on multicentric research can provide data on comprehensive real-life effectiveness of various treatment strategies, especially in resource-poor regions where implementing strict guidelines may not be feasible. Innovations like using AI in Ophthalmology are made possible through collaboration among scientists, medical professionals, and technological experts. Thus, this concept needs to be nurtured and encouraged by all professional societies. Clarity and transparency in the collaboratorship process are essential in nurturing these networks and carrying them forward in future practice.

Signing off with best wishes to the incoming Editorial team ……


1World Health Organization. Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice. World Health Organization; ↱2010. Available from: [Last accessed on 2021 Sep 15].
2Sun JK, Jampol LM. The diabetic retinopathy clinical research network ( and its contributions to the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Ophthalmic Res 2019;62:225-30.
3Bommakanti NK, Zhou Y, Ehrlich JR, Elam AR, John D, Kamat SS, et al. Application of the sight outcomes research collaborative ophthalmology data repository for triaging patients with glaucoma and clinic appointments during pandemics such as COVID-19. JAMA Ophthalmol 2020;138:974-80.
4Agrawal R, Testi I, Mahajan S, et al. The Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS) Consensus (CON) Group Meeting Proceedings [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 6]. Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2020;1-11. doi:10.1080/09273948.2020.1716025.
5The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. “International Strategy.” Available from: [Lastaccessed on 2021 Sep 10].
6Cybersight. “Consultation and Mentorship from International Experts.” Available from: [Last accessed on 2021 Sep 10].
7EyeWiki: Main Page New – EyeWiki. Available from: [Last accessed on 2021 Sep 10].
8Women in Ophthalmology. “Women in Ophthalmology,A Powerful Collective of Women Ophthalmologists.” Available from: [Last accessed on 2021 Sep 10].
9Nishtar S. Public – Private 'Partnerships' in health – A global call to action. Health Res Policy Syst 2004;2:5.
10Wu X, Huang Y, Liu Z, Lai W, Long E, Zhang K, et al. Universal artificial intelligence platform for collaborative management of cataracts. Br J Ophthalmol 2019;103:1553-60.