Diabetic Retinopathy


The Diabetic Retinopathy theme carries out research into diabetic eye disease and other related complications affecting people living with Diabetes. The group is committed to promoting and conducting research which translates into patient benefit.


The publication by Thomas et al BMJ open 2017 ‘highlights the progress that has been made over the past 20 years with the introduction of diabetic retinopathy screening by yourself (Prof Owens), with Welsh Government support. It’s heart warming to see what we have been able to achieve together – with goodwill and professional and clinical expertise and leadership’

- Jane Hutt AM


The future workpackage plans further collaborations with Diabetic Eye Screening Wales (DESW) focusing on influencing diabetic retinopathy screening in Wales.  The group is also involved in conducting research with both national and international collaborators into the relationship with diabetic retinopathy and other complications related to diabetes. The group also intends to continue to develop relationships with local, national and international bodies interested in research into diabetic retinopathy. 



  • To expand on areas of previous successful research, and explore new areas of research allied to diabetic eye health.
  • Support DESW with research activities



  • Evaluate the progress of DESW on the rates of certification of visual impairment and blindness in Wales
  • Identify areas for further development such as individualised screening intervals for diabetic retinopathy in both adults and children
  • Determine the application of technical advances such as Optical Coherance Tomography (OCT), image enhancement and automated image analysis in support of the DESW.
  • Establish International collaborations using image analysis to ascertain the risk of other complications related to diabetes i.e. cardiovascular disease, stroke, and neurodegenerative states such as neuropathy and diabetes foot disease.