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PODCAST: How technology is transforming vision health in the Outback

Innovations in service delivery, technology and  tele-health have the potential to completely transform vision health services in the Outback according to Associate Professor Angus Turner  McCusker Director, Lions Outback Vision.

Speaking in a CERA podcast interview A/Prof Turner says; “How do you deliver best practice eye care to someone who lives 2,000 km away from the nearest major hospital? What if you had to wait 10 months to see a visiting specialist about your eyes, only to be told that yes, you need surgery, but there’s no time to do it this visit, you’ll have to wait another year?”

When he established Lions Outback Vision in 2010, this was the stark reality facing many West Australians in regional, remote and Indigenous communities.

Today, with a small but passionate team of eye health professionals, A/Prof Turner is utilising innovative technology such as telemedicine to deliver eye health care to thousands of people who would otherwise have fallen through the cracks.

The Vision Van service run by Lions Outback Vision travels a 10,000 kilometre circuit,  but to reach more of  those in need of vision services A/Prof Turner is proposing a ‘hub and spokes’ approach.

“A North-West hub would have a Registrar in optometry and ophthalmologist to provide regular clinics to the region, flying out to treat patients like the Royal Flying Doctor service,” he says.

A/Prof Turner also describes his experiences bringing vision services to communities in the bush and his bright hopes for the future.

A/Prof Turner presented the 2017 Annual Gerard Crock Lecture held on Wednesday 25 October 2017 at the University of Melbourne’s Ian Potter Auditorium.

His talk “Eye care in the Wild West” was both fascinating and insightful, learn more about it here.

Listen to the CERA podcast interview by clicking on the orange button below.