The Macular Degeneration Foundation of Australia will hold education sessions for the remainder of this year:
- Brisbane, Qld: 13 October, Geebung RSL Club.
- Brisbane, Qld: 15 October, Queensland Eye Institute.
- Maroochydore, Qld: 16 October, Maroochydore RSL Club.
- Noosa, Qld: 17 October, Villa Noosa.
- Hobart, Tas: 3 November, Grand Chancellor Hotel.
- Newcastle, NSW: 12 November, Belmont 16s.
- Maitland,NSW: 13 November, Maitland Leagues Club.
Bookings: 1800 111 709.
The ABC saga
The ABC saga continues, with seemingly a daily dollop of drama.
So far the chair and the CEO of Australia’s public broadcaster have been shown the door (to put it politely), but the question remains about the board’s behaviour (or hand-sitting) over the chairman’s attempt to interfere in editorial matters at the volition of a mate who happens to be the former prime minister.
More may yet be revealed in the whole unsavoury episode, but the lesson to be learned, hopefully, is simple: Political pressure can’t be exerted on the ABC by anyone, including a bias-claiming government of the day that may not like a report.
Egg on face
And hasn’t corporate Australia come in for a hammering in the interim report of the royal commission on finance, banking, insurance, etc.
Not surprisingly, just about the whole industry has been shown to be as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.
Yet our government leaders in particular tried and tried to convince us a royal commission was not needed, with the Treasurer of the day claiming so on 26 occasions, yes 26 occasions, over almost two years (actually 600 days) until the demand was so strong he had to give in.
And who was that Treasurer? None other than the latest Prime Minister of Australia, Scott
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Specsavers aims to be providing four million eye scans at its Australian and New Zealand stores within a year – about equal to the company’s annual number of eye examinations, Mr Richard Couch, the company’s head of dispensing development, said in his welcome address at theSpecsavers Dispensing Conference 2 held at most capital cities this month.
Since being established in ANZ ten years ago, the company has dispensed over 30 million pairs of glasses and 50 million contact lenses, Mr Couch said.
“Importantly, we’ve equipped over 1,000 staff with new skills as part of our Certificate IV Optical Dispensing programme.
“In the past 12 months alone with the introduction of our OCT programme we have performed over 300,000 eye scans.
In the next year or so this will grow to over 4 million scans with continuous investment in technology, training and development and product developments.
“Dispensing and optical dispensers will play a core and critical role in the delivery of our eye-care services.”
A Melbourne-based biotech, PolyActiva, has attracted $16 million in venture capital for a clinical trial of a unique eye implant that experts say can sharply improve treatment of the blindness-causing condition.
PolyActiva’s ‘polymer prodrug’ technology virtually eliminates human error by delivering the solution via a tiny ocular implant that is almost invisible alongside a 5¢ piece.
Implant biodegrades and disappears within 90 days
The implant can be inserted in the eye using a customised applicator in an ophthalmologist’s office. Once the treatment is completed the implant biodegrades and disappears within 90 days.
Reliably delivering drugs to the eye without the need for human intervention is a ‘holy grail’ for ophthalmologists.
Current treatment requires the patient to self-administer four drops of latanoprost ophthalmic solution – a topical medication known by the brand Xalatan – for six months, an exacting task that studies suggest defies 46 per cent of patients in some way.
Patients may forget to take the drops or do it poorly, which is bad because untreated glaucoma – a build up of pressure on the eye that the drops can relieve – often leads to blindness.
Seven patients in phase 1 clinical trial
Investors, led by Brandon Capital’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund and Yuuwa Capital, a Perth-based early stage commercialisation fund, have stumped up the $16 million to fund phase I clinical trials of the
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Scientists report they have successfully developed and tested the world’s first ultrathin artificial retina, which they believe could vastly improve on existing implantable visualisation technology for blind people.
The research was presented at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
The researchers used 2D materials, including graphene and molybdenum disulphide, as well as thin layers of gold, alumina and silicon nitrate to create a flexible, high-density and curved sensor array.
The device, which resembles the surface of a flattened soccer ball or icosahedron, conforms to the size and shape of a natural retina without mechanically disturbing it.
In laboratory and animal studies, photodetectors on the device readily absorbed light and passed it through a soft external circuit board.
The circuit board housed all of the electronics needed to digitally process light, stimulate the retina and acquire signals from the visual cortex.
Based on those studies, the researchers determined that the prototype artificial retina is biocompatible and successfully mimics the structural features of the human eye, and could be an important step in the quest to develop the next generation of soft bio-electronic retinal prostheses.
Intravitreal injections provided in private hospitals are relatively ‘low-value’ procedures that can be safely carried out in ophthalmologists’ rooms at much lower cost, according to private health fund, HCF.
An analysis of HCF claims data for 21 procedures puts intravitreal injections in private hospitals at the top of the list
At the top of the list is inpatient intravitreal injections – a shot of medicine into the eye to protect vision – which experts say is a good procedure but shouldn’t be performed in hospitals because it only adds “enormous cost for no clinical benefit”.
They said almost all of the 5699 admissions for inpatient intravitreal injections were “low value”.
“Overall, 17 per cent of the injections are happening in the inpatient setting in the private system and that’s growing at 25 per cent a year,” co-author Professor Adam Elshaug said.