It’s been an exciting few months in the eye care industry with businesses ramping up their activities and companies launching products that had been held in the wings during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Similarly, optometry practices are reporting solid business, demonstrating that consumers really do value their eye sight and their eye health.
Of course this burst of activity brings with it stresses and strains associated with managing workflows and patients in a COVID-careful way. Our lead news story highlights some of the challenges being faced by staff in clinics and by patients, and points the way to a future where innovative technology maximises delivery of services, improves efficiencies, engages patients in their own care and ultimately delivers better outcomes for less cost.
My Health Record was an initial attempt to shift Australians’ health records into a digital format so practitioners and patients alike could access relevant information. Fears surrounding confidentiality meant many were reluctant to sign up and now a legislation review is underway to identify opportunities for improvement. It’s hoped that an iteration of the system will better support the needs of patients being cared for by multiple practitioners; reduce treatment duplications; avoid adverse health events; and actively involve patients in their own health care.
In the meantime, some exciting digital initiatives and technologies have been, or are being, developed commercially in Australia which should contribute to higher quality, more sustainable healthcare. One on offer by Clinic to Cloud is an all-in-one clinical and practice management platform that aims to optimise practice operations, improve financial performance, and engage patients in their own care.
Another is a clinical decision support software platform being developed by Macuject. Led by Dr Devinder Chauhan in Victoria, Macuject aims to ‘jog’ ophthalmologists through the process of making decisions regarding treatment for individual patients. Then there’s Cylite, developer of a 4th generation optical coherence tomography system, which recently won the Australian Engineering Excellence Award in Victoria. There’s news on all these innovations, as well as other ground-breaking research underway locally, in the pages ahead – mivision’s biggest issue to date.