Captivating software for visual education

How much does the average person understand about their eyes? It’s probably safe to say, not a great deal.

Lack of information for eye patients can make testing and treatments a confusing and unnerving experience.

Tackling this problem has led eye-clinic group personalEYES to roll out Captiv8, a software program for patient education, across its network.

Anh Kieu, an orthoptist at personalEYES, said that the video animations in the program are easy to understand and give patients proper information.

“It’s reliable and reviewed source from their health consultant,” Ms Kieu said. “Patients are less likely to google their symptoms and diagnosis and arrive at misleading and incorrect information.”

personalEYES introduced Captiv8 last year with an aim to give patients a “complete understanding” of their eyes before, during, and after consultation and treatment.

Every computer in the clinics has Captiv8, which is used by the ophthalmologist, optometrist or orthoptist to show patients a video relevant to their condition, and run through diagnosis and treatment options.

A Captiv8 iPad app can also be used by patients and their family members in the waiting room before or after their consultation.

Videos can be shared via email for future reference or to pass on to family members who are not at the consultation.

“The advantage of using the program is that it provides both animation and simple explanation of often complicated diseases and treatments,” Ms Kieu said. “It’s an efficient method of delivering health information in basic language without technical jargon.”

Use of the iPad app is also a handy way to improve the quality of the consultation, since better-informed patients are prompted to direct questions and concerns that have been raised by the video.

Ms Kieu said educating patients with the videos has led to better compliance for follow-up consultations and post-procedural instructions, such as the use of drops or wearing an eye shield.

A lot of personalEYES’ work is in laser eye correction surgery, and there is strong interest in the procedure from people sick of wearing glasses.

However, because the surgery is not suitable for some patients, Captiv8 has been helpful in explaining why that is, and explaining about alternative treatments such as implantable contact lenses (ICLs).

If a patient elects to have that treatment, there is another animation on how the ICL is implanted and the expected results.

There is a compelling case for better education of patients when it comes to prevention, treatment, and management of eye health. According to the Macular Degeneration Foundation, costs associated with its prevalence will reach $6.5 billion a year by 2025.

Captiv8 is used at personalEYES to explain the condition to patients diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, other symptoms associated with it, the difference between the two types of macular degeneration, and risk factors.

A patient diagnosed with wet macular degeneration will need further treatment in the form of intravitreal injections into the eye. It’s a confronting procedure, and the video helps patients understand the importance of ongoing treatment.

In the time that they have been using Captiv8, Ms Kieu and her colleagues have identified areas the developer needs to tackle for its next release of the software.

Some of these are macular hole, vitreo-retinal surgery, including retinal detachment surgery, central retinal vein and branch retinal vein occlusions and diabetic retinopathy.

“The software could be improved by better manipulation of the video during play,” Ms Kieu said. “The clinician should be able to fast-forward or slide the video along to particular sections, rewind and pause. And the option of subtitles would be great."

A spokesperson for the Australian distributor of the software, Device Technologies, said it was possible to move ahead within the animation to particular sections via its dynamic tool bar. Subtitles are included as part of the animation and are also available in Arabic and Chinese.

personalEYES is largely happy with the Captiv8 product, Ms Kieu said. “As with most good investments, the Captiv8 program does come with a price tag, but to assist our patients understand their eyes and the treatment options available, we find it very educational and effective.

“Our patients appreciate our efforts to help them recognise their eyes and their options.”

Posted in Allied Health

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