Verana Health to Present Findings of Diabetic Retinopathy Study Using American Academy of Ophthalmology IRIS® Registry Data at AMIA Annual Symposium

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 7, 2022 — Verana Health®—a digital health company elevating quality in real-world data—will present findings of a study conducted to determine the mechanism of missingness of diabetic retinopathy disease severity in electronic health records (EHRs) using de-identified curated real-world data (RWD) from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) IRIS® Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight).

Durga Borkar, MD, MMCi, a Verana Health medical advisor and a vitreoretinal surgeon at Duke University Eye Center, will deliver a poster presentation as part of Poster Session 2 (PS02) during the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 2022 Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. 

Dr. Borkar will present the poster on Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Columbia Hall at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The title of the study described in the poster is “Understanding Mechanisms of Missingness for Unspecified Diabetic Retinopathy Disease Severity in the Electronic Health Record: An IRIS® Registry Analysis.”

Established in 2014, the IRIS Registry is one of the largest specialty society clinical data registries in all of medicine. Verana Health is the Academy’s end-to-end data curation and analytics partner for the IRIS Registry, managing its data—comprising nearly 10 years of longitudinal data from more than 75 million de-identified patients and about 16,000 providers—using its VeraQ population health data engine.

Diabetic retinopathy can lead to progressive vision loss due to microvascular damage related to  chronically elevated blood sugarIt is the leading cause of blindness in the working-age population. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one-third of adults over age 40 with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy, amounting to 4.2 million adults, of which 655,000 are in danger of losing their vision.

Clinical encounters in the IRIS Registry between Jan. 1, 2014, and June 30, 2021, that were associated with a diabetic retinopathy ICD code were included in the analysis. More than 11.2 million clinical encounters with ICD-9 codes for diabetic retinopathy and more than 25.3 million clinical encounters with ICD-10 codes for diabetic retinopathy were identified in the IRIS Registry. The overall objective of this study was to understand whether diabetic retinopathy disease severity is missing completely at random (MCAR), missing at random (MAR), missing not at random (MNAR), or some combination.

The results of this study suggest that diabetic retinopathy disease severity is likely MNAR in the electronic health record. Clinical encounters with unspecified disease severity are likely associated with less severe diabetic retinopathy. More significantly, the study demonstrated how medical registry data can be used to fill in data gaps to inform and expedite clinical research.

“Curated, real-world data from clinical data registries, such as the IRIS Registry, is invaluable to clinical researchers. Understanding patterns in this data, such as patterns of missingness, is important to generate high quality real-world evidence and can help enable longitudinal studies,” said Dr. Borkar. “This is already helping the ophthalmic community better understand the progression of diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, as well as treatment patterns and outcomes in a way that informs therapeutic innovation”

AMIA’s Annual Symposium builds on more than 45 years of sharing research and insights for leveraging health information and cutting-edge technologies to improve human health. This year’s theme is “Informatics: Building the Evidence Base.”

“The growing use of real-world data from de-identified electronic health records offers many benefits to researchers. Because the data’s intended and primary use is to facilitate effective patient care, however, it can be difficult to analyze at scale—especially when a large portion of the data is in an unstructured, notes-based format, often prone to missingness,” said Verana Health CEO Sujay Jadhav. “Utilizing clinician-guided machine learning and natural language processing, Verana Health is helping to standardize this real-world data at scale, filling in the gaps and elevating the quality to inform data-driven clinical research and therapeutic insights.”

About Verana Health

Verana Health® is a digital health company elevating quality in real-world data. Verana Health operates an exclusive real-world data network of more than 20,000 healthcare providers (HCPs) and about 90 million de-identified patients, stemming from its strategic data partnerships with the American Academy of Ophthalmology®, American Academy of Neurology, and American Urological Association. Using its clinician-informed and artificial intelligence-enhanced VeraQ® population health data engine, Verana Health transforms structured and unstructured healthcare data into curated, disease-specific data modules, Qdata®. Verana Health’s Qdata helps power analytics solutions and software-as-a-service products for real-world evidence generation, clinical trials enablement, HCP quality reporting, and medical registry data management. Verana Health’s quality data and insights help drive progress in medicine to enhance the quality of care and quality of life for patients. For more information, visit

Verana Health Media Contact:
Megan Moriarty
Amendola Communications

[email protected]

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