CANBERRA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Australian scientists have developed a world-first trial to detect potential blindness in diabetics.
The Remote-I technology, developed by the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), will allow diabetics to have their eyes tested by their regular family doctor, removing unnecessary and often expensive visits to eye specialists.
Yogi Kanagasingam, leader of the first trial of the technology in Perth, said that one in three diabetics suffered from diabetic retinopathy (DR), a condition which often leads to blindness.
The new technology, developed by CSIRO, is able to be used by General Practitioners (GP) and can identify this condition.
"Vision loss or blindness caused by the condition can often be prevented through early detection and timely treatment," Kanagasingam said on Monday.
"GPs are the frontline in managing chronic disease, 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 where a specialist will view them.
"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 one-stop diabetes services that already exist on site which includes GPs upskilled in diabetes, working alongside other specialists and allied health services to provide patient-centered health care."