Major New Online Learning Resource for Eye Care Professionals

WATERFORD, IrelandMarch 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A transatlantic partnership between Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland and Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Penn., U.S.A. has created a new online learning resource allowing optometrists and eye care technicians to complete certified training about the importance of nutrition to eye health at their desk or using a mobile device.

Set to become a valuable learning resource for busy professionals, is the brainchild of Prof John Nolan, Nutrition Research Centre Ireland, School of Health Science, Waterford Institute of Technology and Dr James Stringham, Visual Performance Laboratory, Duke University Medical School, North Carolina.

The pair who have both earned international reputations for their research on how nutrition impacts on visual performance see a significant opportunity to open global access to a range of video tutorials. Those who complete each session will be tested with a short online questionnaire before receiving an online certificate as proof of successful completion.

Speaking as the educational website was launched, Prof Nolan said: “We see this as a great way to communicate and share, making research findings and useful information globally accessible in a single source. There is a considerable appetite for accredited programs like this that take large bodies of research and deliver it in digestible form.

“The traditional model for continuing professional development where people came together in person to attend seminars is limited in reach and also coming under additional strain now as we are all more conscious of our carbon footprint and the need to reduce air travel. This is even more timely given the enormous impact of COVID-19 on education and continued learning, with most of this year’s eye care conferences cancelled. MacuLearn will provide doctors and their staff with the latest information on eye nutrition, vision, retinal diseases, and also guidance on how we can enhance and protect vision for all our patients.”

Dr Stringham added: “The last two decades have seen huge strides made in our scientific understanding of the importance of nutrition to the eye. Part of the challenge we are responding to now is to continue to educate and inform eye health practitioners about those advances and how they can integrate ocular nutrition in to their frontline work with patients.

“What MacuLearn is offering – and we will build further over time – is a different channel to access valuable learning opportunities. Over time, this can help eye health professionals keep their skills up-to-date and to acquire new knowledge and understanding without significant disruption to their working and personal life. It will also reduce costs and the online materials can be kept updated more easily so that learning is as current and relevant as possible.”

  • The site is now live and will be added to with further learning modules through the rest of 2020 and beyond.

Media Contact:
Brian Nolan