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Aussie ingenuity spearheads dry eye advancements: a five-part series

Whether it’s in the lab, within the clinic or even online, Australians are punching above their weight in dry eye and ocular surface innovations. In a five-part series from 17-21 August, five industry professionals sit down with Insight to discuss bringing their concepts to reality.

Breakthroughs in the understanding of dry eye disease have fuelled the fire among local researchers and innovators to strive for more accurate diagnosis and enhanced treatments.

Within five years, a Melbourne-developed point-of-care test for rapid and accurate dry eye diagnosis and subtyping could come to market. Sydney researchers are also using the tear film as a portal to diagnose other diseases with faster, less-invasive methods.

And in the clinic, an increasing number of Australian optometrists are establishing practices solely dedicated to dry eye disease, turning the traditional business model on its head.

Meanwhile, homegrown dry eye treatments, using natural ingredients such as honey, are beginning to make waves on the international stage. Tying these advances together is a new global directory, connecting dry eye patients directly with practitioners who provide personalised care.

In this five-part series, Insight reviews current dry eye projects in Australia, highlighting the strength in collaboration between researchers, clinicians and industry in the search for answers to the dry eye problem.

Part 1: New approaches targeting dry eye subtypes
Dr Laura Downie discusses a point-of-care test for rapid and accurate dry eye diagnosis and subtyping that she hopes to bring to market by 2025.

Part 2: Dry Eye Directory grabs global attention
Independent optometrist Leigh Plowman discusses how the Dry Eye Directory he launched last year is connecting patients to practices who have invested in treating dry eye.

Part 3: Taking advantage of the ocular surface to diagnose other forms of disease
Dr Maria Markoulli is interested in the impact of ocular and systemic disease on the tear film and how eyecare professionals can better use this to diagnose and manage these conditions.

Part 4: Optimel secures its niche
Anthony Moloney, CEO of Melcare Biomedical discusses how his company’s Australian-made product has proven to significantly reduce the severity of dry eye symptoms.

Part 5: Clinical model puts dry eye first
Optometrist Marilyn Stern describes why and how she opened Perth’s first dedicated dry eye treatment clinic in 2017.

Soapbox: Dry eye treatment in Australia
Dr Brendan Cronin shares his perspective on the Australian dry eye landscape.