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Photo:  Jason Turuwhenua and Joanna Black with Optometry and Nursing students

Recently an exciting new research project was initiated as a collaboration between Principal Investigator Dr Jason Turuwhenua (a Senior Research Fellow in the Auckland Bioengineering Institute), Misty Edmonds (a registered nurse and Senior Lecturer, Māori at Manukau Institute of Technology), and Dr Joanna Black (optometrist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Optometry and Vision Science).

Working in close collaboration with staff from Kia Aroha School in Otara, the investigators were able to offer all the pupils a comprehensive eye examination completed at school. Where required, spectacles were also able to be offered thanks to the Essilor Vision Foundation. During the eye examination students also trialled Dr Turuwhenua’s innovative eye testing device, which uses eye movements to detect the level of visual acuity. The study had a high level of participation with more than 80% of pupils in the school cohort participating in vision screening and general health checks.

The study allowed students from Manukau Institute of Technology’s Bachelor of Nursing and the University of Auckland’s Bachelor of Optometry to work together in providing research and screening assessments of vision and general health. It is hoped that similar opportunities will be possible in future to encourage collaboration and cross-disciplinary health workforce development.

More about this study can be found here.