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This article is the author’s final published version in Indian journal of ophthalmology, Volume 69, Issue 7, July 2021, Pages 1894 - 1900.

The published version is available at Copyright © Alalawi et al.


Purpose: Big data is the new gold, especially in health care. Advances in collecting and processing electronic medical records (EMR) coupled with increasing computer capabilities have resulted in an increased interest in the use of big data in health care. Ophthalmology has been an area of focus where results have shown to be promising. The objective of this study was to determine whether the EMR at a multi-tier ophthalmology network in India can contribute to the management of patient care, through studying how climatic and socio-demographic factors relate to eye disorders and visual impairment in the State of Telangana.

Methods: The study was designed by merging a dataset obtained from the Telangana State Development Society to an existing EMR of approximately 1 million patients, who presented themselves with different eye symptoms and diagnosed with several diseases from the years (2011-2019). The dataset obtained included weather and climatic variables to be tested alongside eye disorders. AI creative featuring techniques have been used to narrow down the variables most affected by climatic and demographic factors, with the application of the Cynefin Framework as a guide to simplify and structure the dataset for analysis.

Results: Our findings revealed a high presence of cataract in the state of Telangana, mostly in rural areas and throughout the different weather seasons in India. Males tend to be the most affected as per the number of visits to the clinic, while home makers make the most visit to the hospital, in addition to employees, students, and laborers. While cataract is most dominant in the older age population, diseases such as astigmatism, conjunctivitis, and emmetropia, are more present in the younger age population.

Conclusion: The study appeared useful for taking preventive measures in the future to manage the treatment of patients who present themselves with eye disorders in Telangana. The use of clinical big datasets helps to identify the burden of ocular disorders in the population. The overlaying of meteorological data on the clinical presentation of patients from a geographic region lends insight into the complex interaction of environmental factors on the prevalence of ocular disorders in them.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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