Home eye test a finalist in national social change comp

The Vision At Home (V@Home) project is an evidence- and software-based algorithm that provides a method for patients to test their visual function from any location with a computer, webcam and access to the internet. It was designed to address the lack of access to vision testing for Australians living in rural and rote communities.The technology was developed by Professor Mingguang He, principal investigator at the Centre for Eye Research Australia and professor of ophthalmic epidiology at the University of Melbourne, and his PhD student, Dr William Yan. Our visual acuity self-assessment syst will provide a way for rural, elderly and mobility-affected Australians to rotely test their eyesight from home, Prof He stated. Unlike the current VA testing method, requiring patients to be physically present at a clinic, or other testing software that is inaccurate, our syst allows for operator-free rote testing that is more accurate than ever before, when the testing distance is accurately measured and monitored by validated feature recognition technology. While Dr Yan noted that 94% of blindness or vision loss in indigenous Australians was preventable or treatable, it was said that one of the largest challenges to preventable eye disease was a lack of access to eye-care services in primary healthcare settings, particularly in regional, rote and indigenous communities. V@Home will bring testing to areas with poor access and benefit groups with great potential for sight-saving interventions, including children, the elderly and indigenous Australians, Dr Yan said.The project was recently announced as a top 10 finalist in the Australian Google Impact Challenge. The competition will provide a total of $4.5 million in funding to Australian non-profit innovators with ideas to effect positive social change. We know good ideas combined with technology can help to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, Google Australia director of engineering Mr Alan Noble commented. Ten Australian not-for-profits have been selected as finalists in the latest round of the Google Impact Challenge for their outstanding ideas to use technology to make an impact on important causes. Three winners determined by a judging panel will each receive $750,000 in grant funding, with an additional winner to be selected by public vote. The raining six finalists will each receive $250,000 to help turn their project ideas into a reality.The four winning projects will be announced on 26 October.

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