New diabetes screening program a real sight for sore eyes

Diabetes eye screening program to reduce vision loss and blindness

Wellbeing
VISIONARY: A new screening program for diabetes patients is expected to significantly reduce vision loss and blindness.

VISIONARY: A new screening program for diabetes patients is expected to significantly reduce vision loss and blindness.

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A screening program for diabetes patients is set to reduce vision loss and blindness.

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A new eye screening program is set to reduce vision loss and blindness among diabetes patients. 

The program will create an interface, linking the National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS) and Oculo, a cloud-based computing platform which connects eye care providers to create a new digital screening and detection system.

Specsavers will invest $1 million a year into the program over the next five years, while the federal government will contribute $1 million in funding in the first year to help development.

More than 1.7 million Australians live with diabetes, with about 500,000 still undiagnosed and 100,000 new diagnoses made each year. 

One in three people with diabetes will develop some form of related diabetic eye disease in their lifetimes.

Specsavers head of optometry Ben Ashby said diabetic eye disease could be easily managed if detected and treated early.

“We want to make sure that everyone with diabetes is getting the care they need,” he said.

“Our clinics have cases all the time where patients with diabetes have gone years without experiencing any problems.

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