By Patrick Hutchens
Eyes4Everest president Shaun Chang has been working with Dr Hong Sheng Chiong to make use of OphthalmicDocs’ imaging adapter technologies in the Everest region, in preparation for his trip to Nepal in September.
The Eyes4Everest team, which this year includes seven optometrists from Australia, is making its second annual journey to Nepal to test the vision of hundreds of children.
The group is trialling OphthalmicDocs’ retinal imaging adapter and slitlamp tool and trying to create a virtual ophthalmology setting for those patients who require it.
‘We can send pictures back to our ophthalmologist in New Zealand and we’ll be able to have a live consultation going,’ Mr Chang said.
Mr Chang is a behavioural optometrist who has been working on his own technology to promote behavioural optometry in Australia.
He has developed a visual learning application for iPads, to assist parents in identifying whether their children require assessment by a behavioural optometrist.
The Buffalo and Nak app, freely available on the App Store, tests visual sequential memory, visual discrimination and auditory visual integration, and is targeted at children aged from five to eight years.
The app tells a Nepalese story of two characters named Buffalo and Nak and includes questions to test comprehension. For children who have not learned to read, it includes audio storytelling.
Mr Chang said visual sequential memory, auditory vision and visual discrimination were very important to a child learning to read.
‘They can have great sight but if they don’t have those cognitive skills, they won’t be able to remember the alphabet which they’ve just been shown for the millionth time,’ he said.
The app lists the details of 35 behavioural optometrists around Australia, so parents can locate one closest to where they live. Optometrists registered with the app are also able to log-in to read messages from members of the public who have contacted them for an appointment.
Mr Chang encourages his fellow behavioural optometrists listed through the app to promote it among their local communities.
‘All of the practitioners who are listed at the moment basically take the app to their schools and talk about it with their local community. I’m doing a preschool talk tomorrow. Those are ways that I can show people the app and that it’s a story book,’ Mr Chang said.
Information about the app can be found at www.buffaloandnak.com. The app can be downloaded through the iTunes Store.