A new app compiled with expert content from 14 of New Zealand’s leading eye surgeons aims to help GPs, optometrists and other medical professionals confidently diagnose eye disorders.
The Auckland Eye Manual app, which is the first of its kind in New Zealand, is a comprehensive ophthalmic diagnostic resource providing a reference guide across all sub-speciality eye diseases.
The manual was originally released in print form as a resource for medical practitioners to assist them in referring patients who may need more specialist eye care.
One of its creators, Auckland Eye ophthalmologist Dr Sue Ormonde says the reference manual was developed in response to the growing number of GP requests for more information to assist them in clinical practice.
“Eye issues occur relatively infrequently compared with more common health complaints affecting the heart, lung, and skin," Dr Ormonde says.
"GPs don’t have the specialised examination equipment available to ophthalmologists, so diagnosis can be more difficult for them, particularly if the condition is uncommon."
The University of Auckland has already embraced the use of the Auckland Eye Manual using it as an educational tool for all fifth year medical students, says Dr Ormonde.
“The app explains the appropriate methods for taking an ophthalmic history, and along with the use of colour photos aids in identifying important signs for over 100 common eye conditions," Dr Ormonde adds.
"Immediate and longer-term management and referral guidelines are also included.
"The availability of this information on mobile devices and tablets is aimed to better meet the needs of doctors, optometrists and students, giving them immediate access to resources and more rapid search functionality to assist them in their diagnosis.”
Users will find commentary on specialist treatment and surgery, providing GPs with a better understanding of what happens to their patients after referral.
There is also a list of essential ophthalmic medications, a comprehensive glossary and a referral guide providing information about the Auckland Eye specialists says Dr Ormonde.
The Auckland Eye Manual app is available to iOS and Android users, and is free for all New Zealanders.