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New online diagnostic tool for medical practitioners

Screenshot of the CoDEx website

The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) is pleased to launch a free online diagnostic tool for clinicians who encounter ophthalmic emergencies.

The CoDEx (Computerised Diagnostic Expertise) tool on www.deyeagnose.org was developed by Dr Ehud Zamir, a practicing ophthalmologist and Senior Research Fellow at CERA after extensive testing at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. This testing has proved that CoDEx provides a correct diagnosis, or a narrow differential diagnosis in over 85 percent of cases.

Dr Zamir said the tool is specifically intended for medical practitioners such as emergency physicians, emergency room nurses, optometrists, specialist doctors and medical students to reduce the risk of misdiagnosis for serious eye problems.

CoDEx uses information obtained mostly from guided history taking and symptoms. It weighs the answers to reach a differential diagnosis and presents it in the order of likelihood. It is generously illustrated with photographs equivalent to what is seen by an examiner without magnification equipment.

CoDEx also offers an array of concise monographs with practical information about each of the 40 diagnoses covered, including symptoms, signs, urgency of referral and treatment. The user can choose to receive an emailed summary of the case and to provide feedback to improve the tool’s functionality.

A further advantage of CoDEx is that unlike a manual or textbook, it provides a navigation map to guide the process of making a differential diagnosis.

At this stage, the tool offers the red/painful eye module but in the future it will include other modules including acute visual loss, uveitis, ocular trauma and chemical burns and pupil abnormalities.

Dr Zamir said that he was delighted to make CoDEx available after many months of testing and research.

“I welcome feedback from colleagues as we further develop the tool to assist in the diagnosis of ophthalmic emergencies by medical practitioners, other than ophthalmologists,” he said.

“I would especially like to thank the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation that provided the essential funding to enable this project to be realised.”

For more information, visit www.deyeagnose.org