KeepSight, the national diabetes eye screening program aimed at supporting patients with diabetes to remember their annual eye checks has reached an important milestone – registering 100,000 patients in its database.
The program commenced just over 12 months ago and aims to reduce the toll of diabetes-related vision loss in the population by ensuring all people with diabetes access recommend eye tests. Through the program, patients receive electronic alerts and reminders to help them remember their diabetes eye checks and assist them with locating an optometrist, if required.
The KeepSight program, which is run by Diabetes Australia in partnership with Vision 2020 Australia, Centre for Eye Research Australia and Oculo, has been co-funded by the Australian Government, Specsavers, Bayer, Novartis and Mylan. The program has widespread support from leading diabetes and eye health groups including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, Orthoptics Australia, Optometry Australia, the Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association.
And while 100,000 Australians with diabetes registered with KeepSight is an important milestone for the program – there are currently over 1.36 million Australians living with diabetes, so there is still more work to do to encourage every person with diabetes to register.
A new University of Sydney study has found only half of people living with diabetes get the recommended diabetes eye checks putting them at risk of significant vision loss and blindness.
Researchers found people who had been living with diabetes for 10 or more years were even less likely to get regular eye checks, with almost 80 percent of people not partaking in the annual check recommended for this group.
More information about the KeepSight Program is available on the initiative’s website.