Project Plan

Participants (users and vendors) can apply until October 31, 2012. The project has been officially be announced at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) in San Francisco. Please find the application form here.

The users (eye care professionals worldwide) can be supported within OPHTEL2012 for 3 years (2012-2014). User meetings shall be organized at the most important international ophthalmic meetings (WOC, AAO, ASCRS, ESCRS, ARVO).

Follow up projects are scheduled for web based applications (web based medical records, disease registries, telemedicine networks etc.) up from 2012 based on the evaluation processes of the EMR/EHR project.

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OPHTEL2012: Questions and answers

Who can participate in OPHTEL2012 and get funding and support for the EMR implementation?
All eye institutes, clinics and private ophthalmologists can participate in OPHTEL2012. The project languages shall be English, Spanish, Portuguese and German.

How can a user apply for OPHTEL2012?
All ophthalmologists interested in OPHTEL2012 can contact IOTA: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . They will receive the relevant forms and information about the project regulations and the maximum funding.

Which investments and services can be funded?
Investments for EMR (Electronic Medical Record) software can be funded (maximum 25% of the investment).

What are the regulations for the funding?
The EMR system has to fulfill the requirements of the OPHTEL2012 project and has to be accredited by IOTA. The users have to provide reports about the introduction and realization phase of 24 months (preparation and decision process, customization, technical implementation, training, ROI and benefits).

What are the requirements for the EMR system?
The EMR software shall be available for international users with at least 4 language versions (mandatory is English, Spanish, German and another language). Customization for eye care subspecialties shall be an option and structured data storage with terms and codes (e.g. SNOMED compatible) shall be provided for automated reporting and data mining.

How is the legal and financial process defined?
After the user project is approved by the IOTA the user can sign the contract with the vendor (e.g. for 75% of the investment) and IOTA (e.g. for 25% funding of the investment). The vendor receives 75% from the user and up to 25% from the IOTA directly. The user has to provide the agreed reports and documentation within a period of 24 months according to the project standard guidelines (checklists and questionnaires) to the IOTA.

What are the benefits of OPHTEL2012 for the user?
Beside the attractive funding the user receives special services combined with additional benefits. In conjunction with the most important international meetings (WOC, AAO, ASCRS, ESCRS, ARVO) OPHTEL2011 user meetings are organized supporting exchange of information and important experience. The IOTA together with the vendors provide special individual services like webinars, teleconsultation and training regarding the customization processes.

What are the time lines for OPHTEL 2012?
The contracts for OPHTEL2012  have to be signed not later than October 31, 2012. The user project has to be started before December 31, 2012. For 24 months (until October 31, 2014) OPHTEL2012 is defined. Follow up project with web based applications like registries, studies and collaboration networks are scheduled up from 2012.

How can OPHTEL 2012 support the users marketing activities?
All OPHTEL2012 participants become IOTA members and receive an attractive certification for their institute. The IOTA also provides professional publications and press material for promoting the benefits of intelligent information technology for the patients. OPHTEL2012 participants have exclusivity rights for their region.



The funding can cover up to 25% of the software licenses and user meetings for exchanging information and experience about the project processes (preparation, customization, training and ROI analysis of implementing an EMR/EHR system).

The system needs to be contracted until October 31, 2012 and the implementation process needs to be started before December 31, 2012. The funding shall cover 3 years for all services and user meetings (2012-2014).

OPHTEL2012 Report Requirements for EMR Funding

Decision and preparation process
- Report 01           Decision and expectations
- Report 02           Preparation technical environment
- Report 03           Preparation clinical environment
- Report 04           Preparation physicians and team

Customization and implementation process
- Report 05           Customization terminology
- Report 06           Customization clinical pathways
- Report 07           Customization user interface

Training and coaching process
- Report 08           Training plan
- Report 09           Initial training
- Report 10           Follow up training

ROI and clinical benefits
- Report 11           Return on investment (financial)
- Report 12           Clinical benefits after 12 months
- Report 13           Clinical benefits after 24 months
- Report 14           Final project report

All reports are represented by a multiple choice checklist, a questionnaire and individual comments.
The users are supported by consultants of the vendors and by the IOTA representatives.



The first OPHTEL project was launched in 1996 and received funding by the European Union (EU) within the Telematics Research Program. Specialists from Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain and Italy researched IT systems for registries, electronic medical records, image databases and knowledge based systems regarding their functionality for co-management and telemedicine. The main focus of OPHTEL was the use of structured data (standard multilingual terminology) for the management of patients with retinal diseases (e.g. diabetic retinopathy/DR) and glaucoma.

IOTA (International Ophthalmic Technology Association) is a non-profit organization supporting the development and standardization of state-of-the-art technologies for eye care professionals worldwide. IOTA is registered as a non-profit organization in Bonn, Germany (registration no. 4945).


Strategic Relevance

The number of ophthalmic professionals using digital systems is increasing worldwide every year. However there is a lack of information and documentation on the quality and benefits of the use of electronic applications. OPHTEL2012 shall support knowledge about standards and structured data concepts for the meaningful use of digital patient data management.

The international approach shall help to synchronize electronic tools to support best practice and quality in eye care.


General Objectives

The general objective is to evaluate digital data management in Ophthalmology worldwide based on standards used by “real world” applications. This shall be achieved by the research of software use in ophthalmic environments in Europe, America and Asia. OPHTEL2012 aims to provide significant impact on the development and use of electronic systems like Electronic Medical Records, Disease Registries and Telemedicine Applications in Ophthalmology.

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