Sci­en­tists de­velop blind­ness test for di­a­bet­ics

China Daily (USA) - - WORLD - By XIN­HUA in Can­berra

Aus­tralian sci­en­tists have de­vel­oped a ground­break­ing trial to de­tect po­ten­tial blind­ness in peo­ple with di­a­betes.

The Re­mote-I tech­nol­ogy, de­vel­oped by the Commonwealth Sci­en­tific In­dus­trial Re­search Or­ga­ni­za­tion, will al­low di­a­bet­ics to have their eyes tested by their reg­u­lar fam­ily doc­tor, re­mov­ing un­nec­es­sary and of­ten ex­pen­sive vis­its to spe­cial­ists.

Yogi Kana­gasingam, leader of the first trial of the tech­nol­ogy in Perth, said that one in three di­a­bet­ics suf­fered from di­a­betic retinopa­thy, a con­di­tion which of­ten leads to blind­ness.

The new tech­nol­ogy, Yogi Kana­gasingam, de­vel­oped by CSIRO, is able to be used by gen­eral prac­ti­tion­ers and can iden­tify the con­di­tion.

“Vi­sion loss or blind­ness caused by the con­di­tion can of­ten be pre­vented through early de­tec­tion and timely treat­ment,” Kana­gasingam said onMon­day.

“GPs are (on) the front­line in man­ag­ing chronic dis­eases, such as di­a­betes.

“This is the first step in de­vel­op­ing a DR screen­ing sys­tem that will helps GPs pri­or­i­tize pa­tients for treat­ment and surgery to pre­vent dis­ease com­pli­ca­tions.

“If we can pick up early changes and pro­vide the ap­pro­pri­ate in­ter­ven­tion, we can pre­vent blind­ness.”

Dur­ing the trial, to be held at Perth’s GP Su­per­clinic, the Re­mote-I sys­tem will cap­ture high-res­o­lu­tion im­ages of 200 pa­tients’ reti­nas and upload them to a cloud-based sys­tem.

The im­ages will then ex­am­ined by a spe­cial­ist.

“This project will pro­vide a break­through in the early de­tec­tion and di­ag­no­sis of di­a­betic retinopa­thy in pri­mary care, fur­ther break­ing down the bar­ri­ers in spe­cial­ist ac­cess to ser­vices in the com­mu­nity,” Amitha Preetham, di­rec­tor of the GP Su­per­clinic, said.

“This tool pro­vides a valu­able ad­junct in the de­liv­ery of our com­pre­hen­sive on­estop di­a­betes ser­vices that al­ready ex­ist on site, which in­cludes GPs who are up­skilled in di­a­betes, work­ing along­side other spe­cial­ists and al­lied health ser­vices to pro­vide pa­tient­cen­tered health­care.” be

If we can pick up early changes and pro­vide the ap­pro­pri­ate in­ter­ven­tion, we can pre­vent blind­ness.” the trial leader of

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