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eyeConnect keeping patients close to home

November 10, 2017

Leona Edwards was enjoying gardening when something flicked up in her eye. Thanks to the world first eyeConnect device, she received the care she needed at her local hospital and was saved the stress of unnecessary travel.

Leona lives in Hastings, over an hour from the Eye and Ear, so when she injured her eye her husband took her to their local hospital for assessment.

Luckily for Leona, Frankston Hospital had an eyeConnect device which links local emergency departments (ED) with specialists at the Eye and Ear.

After seeing a clinician at Frankston ED, the eyeConnect device was used to send images of Leona’s eye to the Eye and Ear, where a specialist confirmed she could be treated locally. Thanks to this telemedicine technology, this all happened in under an hour and close to Leona’s home.

The device was created by the Eye and Ear in partnership with local medical technology manufacturer Ingeneus with funding from the Victorian Government.

Eye and Ear eyeConnect Coordinator, Sue McCallum, says eyeConnect aims to minimise unnecessary patient travel and support regional and rural areas that don’t have dedicated ophthalmology services.

"There are complex reasons why people may not be easily able to get to a specialist hospital hours away, including travel time and time off work. The launch and rollout of the eyeConnect device means people can often be looked after locally."

Peninsula Health’s Clinical Director of Emergency Services, Dr Shyaman Menon, says the device is a game changer for those who are in need of a specialist ophthalmological consultation.

"After looking into the statistics with the Eye and Ear, we found that we could have treated many of these patients if we had access to this new telemedicine technology. eyeConnect is a win-win for both patients and hospitals," he says.