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Optometry webinar to shed light on keratoconus and dry eye registries

A free webinar for optometrists managing keratoconus and dry eye patients will explain how they can access one of the few clinical registries worldwide that engages optometrists.

The Save Sight Institute at the University of Sydney is home to the Save Sight Keratoconus Registry (SSKR), the first module of the Fight Corneal Blindness! Project.

Dr Himal Kandel.

Established in 2015, the SSKR is demonstrating steady growth, with clinician uptake across Australia, New Zealand and overseas. With a 236% increase in the number of treatments captured in the system, the dataset will allow experts to determine the correct timing and choice of treatment for patients with keratoconus.

A sophisticated interface also allows clinicians to capture patient’s response on the perceived effect of treatment on their quality of life – with patients entering their responses directly into an iPad or hand-held device. Once submitted, the responses are then automatically and securely transmitted to the database.

An optometry module was launched in 2020 to complement the keratoconus surgical outcome data captured on the SSKR. This module is the focus of a webinar on 22 March 2021, 7pm to 8pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).

The webinar, titled ‘How can you evaluate the outcomes of patients with keratoconus and dry eye in your clinical practice?’, will be presented by Professor Stephanie Watson, principal investigator of the SSKR, Associate Professor Laura Downie, co-chair of the steering committee of the optometry module, Dr Himal Kandel, Kornhauser research associate at the Save Sight Registries, and Ms Pauline Khoo, a research officer and PhD candidate.

Dr Laura Downie.

Watson, Downie and Kandel want optometrists to know they can now use the SSKR to collect and review the outcomes of their own patients with keratoconus and dry eye disease.

“The optometry module of the registry is an innovative concept; one of the few clinical registries worldwide that currently engages optometrists. The registry offers several benefits to users and is available free of cost,” they said.

Their webinar will answer questions about how optometrists can access and use the registry, and how practices and patients can benefit.

“The registry’s online platform makes it accessible to optometrists in various parts of the world. Optometrists can choose to share their data with ophthalmologists they refer to and show patients their care journey in graphical outputs,” they said.

Downie said she was excited to share the registry with her colleagues.

Prof Stephanie Watson.

“The registry is designed for optometrists to audit the outcomes of their clinical care, and to assist with communicating these outcomes to patients. An added benefit is that deidentified data collected in the registry can be used for research.”

Mr Rob Medynski, project coordinator at the Save Sight Registries, will provide a short demonstration of the registry during the webinar.

The webinar will also introduce the Save Sight Dry Eye Registry.

“The Save Sight Dry Eye Registry is a new initiative that is available to optometrists and ophthalmologists to track outcomes of dry eye and its treatment. I am pleased to be able to introduce the registry at this webinar,” Watson said.

Mr Larry Kornhauser, president of Keratoconus Australia, which is supporting the webinar, will give a brief talk on patient perspectives and highlight the support and services the organisation is providing to people with keratoconus.

“Optometrists are the long-term carers for people with keratoconus. Their patient data input into the registry is critical to its success and the long-term treatment and management of keratoconus. Please be involved,” Kornhauser, OAM, said.

Registration for the webinar is free but essential. Register here. Details will be emailed to participants closer to the event.

For further information, email ssi.community@sydney.edu.au.

More reading:

The role we all have to play in keratoconus

Sydney researchers identify improved topical therapy for microbial keratitis

The Australian Save Sight registries