Australia and New Zealand is now set to have access to an easy, five minute process for the screening of macular pigment levels, thanks to TGA approval of a new portable technology launched by Opto Global in Australia.
The first compact, low cost, macular pigment screener, the Tinsley MPOD, has been designed by researchers David Carden and Dr. Ian Murray at the University of Manchester and is manufactured in the U.K. by Tinsley, part of Hartest Precision Instruments Limited. The MPOD has been available in the U.S. for the past two years.
“This technology is one of the most exciting developments in optometric diagnostics for years,” says Shane Hage, Sales Manager for Opto Global Australia and New Zealand.
“Practitioners are in a position to gain tangible benefits from additional sales of Lutein based supplements which can enhance macular pigment. This will lead to vastly increased patient retention and visit frequency due to follow-up checks of their macular pigment. The five minute screening test is easily performed and can be done by the practice assistant,” he said.
According to Dr. Ian Murray, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Life Science, University of Manchester: “It is the first time that this technology has been available with a straightforward user response button, and it allows monitoring to take place after some very basic operator training”.
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50, is set to rise significantly with the ageing population. The opportunity for the additional screening is expected to win considerable favour with this demographic.
“As much as consumers have become aware of their cholesterol levels and the importance of monitoring and controlling them, we expect to see the same levels of awareness developing in relation to the density and absorption spectrum of macular pigment, the protective pigment within the macular,” Dr. Murray says.