Saving eyesight an award-winning ICT endeavour

By August 8th, 2011

Research helping to save the eyesight of people in the rural and remote areas of Australia has won the top prize at the 2011 national iAwards, the information and communications technology (ICT) industry’s peak awards event held in Melbourne last night.

The technology, called Remote-i, took out the Victorian Government Inspiration Award which was presented by the Governor of Victoria, the Honourable Alex Chernov, AO, QC.

CSIRO’s ICT experts developed a low cost, high quality eye screening system that gets around the problem of specialists travelling to the bush or patients trekking to the city.

The technology includes:

  • a web-based system that captures images from an easy-to-use camera and sends them to a central server
  • an offline system for data collection in areas with no immediate Internet connection
  • an automated system to analyse captured images and support decision making by screening staff and medical specialists
  • security and encryption techniques for transmission of patient data.

The Inspiration Award was one of four awards received by the CSIRO on the evening.

“With these kind of projects, it’s no surprise that the CSIRO ICT Centre attracts some of the best researchers from around the world ”

Dr Ian Oppermann, CSIRO

“These national awards are evidence of the scale and scope of CSIRO’s expertise in ICT research and the fact that our work is making a real difference in people’s lives,” said Dr Ian Oppermann, Director of CSIRO’s ICT Centre.

“Our ophthalmology technology team, led by Dr Yogi Kanagasingam, is part of CSIRO’s Preventative Health Flagship. Remote-i is already helping people in WA’s Pilbara region and is a prime example of the technologies that are possible once Australia has a broadband network.”

Success was not limited to the national awards, with CSIRO and partners including the Queensland Government and Queensland University of Technology being recognised with no less than twelve state iAwards across the country.

“Outstanding results such as these reflect the ICT Centre’s success in helping address some of the challenges facing Australia today, as well as being a demonstration of CSIRO’s national ICT research capability.

At last night’s ceremony CSIRO collected the following awards:

  • e-Health iAward – for Remote-i, a low cost, high quality eye screening system that is giving people in regional Western Australia easy access to specialist ophthalmological services. It was developed by the Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC), a joint venture between CSIRO and the Queensland Government.
  • Sustainability and Green IT – for a next-generation catchment management system that is improving sustainable allocation of fresh water. CSIRO brought many different kinds of sensors and sensor systems into a sensor web and, in a world first, integrated them with flow forecasting models and made everything available through an easy-to-use web portal.
  • e-Learning – a merit award for the AEHRC’s surgical simulator that is helping teach medical specialists how to perform a colonoscopy, a difficult procedure currently taught on real patients. 

“With these kind of projects, it’s no surprise that the CSIRO ICT Centre attracts some of the best researchers from around the world to work in our facilities around Australia,” Dr Oppermann said.

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