Diabetic Retinopathy - Closing the Loop for Diabetic Eye Care and Complication Risk Mitigation

Diabetes health outcomes are generally worse in Indigenous peoples than in non-Indigenous peoples.  Even extensive damage to the eyes due to diabetes (retinopathy) can occur without any pain or vision problems, hence regular screening is important for the early detection and care of diabetic retinopathy. With the diabetes epidemic there are not enough eye specialists (ophthalmologists and optometrists) to provide care, particularly in rural and remote regions.  The addition of trained and supported health-workers, nurses, GPs and diabetes specialists to the screening workforce can improve coverage.  The team has trained many Indigenous Health Workers in retinal imaging and is testing computerised on-site diagnosis programs.  Resources to help train and support users to acquire quality images are being developed.