Mar 2020 – Many amongst the general population are oblivious to the need for regular eye examination. To underscore this need, most of these eye conditions are silent and asymptomatic during early stages which can be vision threatening when it takes a turn for the worse.
As professionals regulated by the Optometrist and Optician Board (OOB), optometrists are trained and qualified to read fundus images and also conduct annual eye examinations. With their practices spread across the whole island, optometrists can play a significant role in providing greater accessibility to primary eye care.
On 12 Mar 2020, EyRIS formalised an Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore Optometric Association (SOA) to collaborate on several key objectives:
- Promoting the importance of annual eye examination
- Increasing awareness diabetic patients to have their eyes screened annually
- Informing the public the nearest locations where eye examinations are offered by participating optometrists
As start, a network of 23 optometric practices equipped with quality fundus cameras islandwide has come together to launch a collaborative platform “Say No to Vision Loss”. Through this platform, the practices are connected to the cloud-based SELENA+, deep learning AI system designed to detect diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma-suspect and age-related macular degeneration. For the full listing of the practices, one can refer to https://zerovisionloss.com/sg/locate-us.html.
The MOU was signed by Mr Lai Teik Kin, CEO EyRIS and Mr Ken Tong, President of SOA.
“As vision is the most important asset of our lives, thus it is only logical we lend ample attention to eye care. By linking up optometric services with the “Say No to Vision Loss” platform, SOA is ensuring primary eye care becomes more accessible and delivery of standardised quality care, ” said Ken Tong in the opening speech.
“EyRIS is thankful that under the able stewardship of Ken, SOA has embraced innovations in delivering a wider range of services to their customers. With a proven model, we see this collaboration as launch pad for us to convince other national optometric associations to partcipate in the Zero Vision Loss initiative ,” said Mr Lai in his speech.
The signing ceremony was attended by members of the SOA, inventors of SELENA+, representatives from Singapore Eye Research Institute and Dr Gavin Tan, who sits on the advisory board of EyRIS and industry players.
EyRIS develops and deploys artificial intelligence systems to automatically screen retinal images for diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration – diseases that lead to preventable blindness. Jointly developed by the Singapore Eye Research Institute and National University of Singapore, the technology can significantly reduce public health care cost while maintaining standard of care.
About Singapore Optometric Association (SOA)
Founded in 1978, the Singapore Optometric Association (SOA) represents its member optometrists in promoting and upholding the profession of Optometry. As the association is responsible for upgrading eye-care practice standards, it is actively and continuously organising continuing education programs.
On both the regional and international fronts, SOA is an active promoter of the profession namely through the Asia Optometric Congress, the Asia-Pacific Council of Optometry, and the World Council of Optometry.