Jorge Cuadros, OD, PhD
Member, Berkeley Optometry Hall of Fame
Dr. Jorge Cuadros was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1956 after his parents emigrated from Cochabama, Bolivia. After undergraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), he attended UC Berkeley School of Optometry and graduated in 1980, subsequently working in private practice and community clinics in underserved communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. He continued to pursue his interest in information science that started at UCLA, and designed his first electronic health record in 1988 that he used in his own optometric practices.
In 1993 Dr. Cuadros began exploring telemedicine as a way to improve access to specialty care for his patients with advanced disease who often experienced language and cultural barriers to ophthalmological care. He completed a few demonstration projects connecting patients with specialists at Berkeley where he began working as a clinical instructor. He became interested in how telehealth fits in the larger picture of medical information science and went on to complete his doctorate in that subject at the University of California, San Francisco, in 2004.
Along the way he and a classmate created EyePACS, a web-based telehealth platform using an open source design that allowed low cost access for clinics caring for underserved patients. In 2005 he was awarded a grant by the California Health Care Foundation to further develop the retinal telehealth program for patients with diabetes in community clinics in California.
He was selected as the California Optometric Association Key Person of the Year and UC Berkeley’s Alumnus of the Year for his help preparing acceptable wording for California Assembly Bills 354, 1224, and 175 that provide a legal framework for teleophthalmology and optometric telehealth in California. He has conducted several clinical trials on innovative technologies, such as automated retinal image reading, laser imaging devices, and primary care programs.
Dr. Cuadros co-authored three books on ocular telehealth and artificial intelligence and has lectured on these topics throughout the world, including several keynote and award presentations. In 2014 the California Health Care Foundation and the Kaggle Data Science company worked with EyePACS to conduct a competition that resulted in thousands of private and public domain automated retinal reading algorithms and became the standard ground truth for most of the algorithms in use today. A similar competition, AIROGS, was developed in 2021 with the University of Rotterdam for glaucoma triage. Dr. Cuadros and EyePACS continue to work with tech companies, academic centers, and health systems to improve access to care and improve health equity.