• Indigenous eye health is improving across Australia, but more needs to be done to close the gap for vision, according to a report from the AIHW. (File)Source: File
A new mobile, web-based tool is set to be trialled in remote communities with the aim of improving the health of Indigenous Australians.
29 Nov 2013 - 4:25 PM  UPDATED 30 Nov 2013 - 3:08 PM

Telehealth Eye and Associated Medical Services Network will trial the new program that uses Internet and mobile technologies to provide accurate, low-cost eye exams to Indigenous people in remote parts of Australia.

Professor Sven Bursell from The Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney says participants need to be monitored during all stages of diagnosis and treatment.

"The reason they need to come in every year is that we need to follow what goes on with the changes that are going on in their eye, and at the appropriate time, have optometrists do the treatment," says Professor Bursell.

"The treatment is very effective, we know we can reduce the risk of visual loss to less than five per cent."

The innovative eye care tool will empower Indigenous Health Workers to care for the eye health of people at a local, community level.

"We do the retinal imagining where you are, we send the images to a centre of excellence, in this case, the Centre for Eye Research in Australia in Melbourne to do the clinical assessment. We send a report back to your doctor within 48 hours of what the level of disease is and what the appropriate management plan is," says Professor Bursell.