Specsavers’ rollout of OCT across New Zealand has reached completion, with the state-of-the-art diagnostic technology now available in every Specsavers store across the country.

The final New Zealand store to receive an OCT was Specsavers New Plymouth, with the installation completed on 3 October.

This achievement followed another major milestone in the Specsavers OCT rollout, with Specsavers Blacktown in New South Wales becoming the 200th store across Australia and New Zealand to have an OCT installed on 20 September.

The OCT rollout is a cornerstone of the Specsavers ‘Transforming eye health’ mission, redefining the standard eye examination to incorporate OCT screening for every patient at no additional cost. OCT, in combination with functional visual field testing on indication, collaboration with medicine, and benchmarking of referrals, has resulted in a measurable impact on key eye health outcomes that has never been recorded in any other region of the world.

OCT provides superior clinical decision making, resulting in reduced rates of avoidable blindness – specifically glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease. Already, more than 250,000 OCT scans have been performed across Specsavers’ Australian and New Zealand stores.

In Australia, the detection rate of glaucoma has doubled in Specsavers stores with OCT compared to 2017 – a rate which is near the population prevalence as determined by the Blue Mountains Eye Study. In the last nine months alone, Australian Specsavers stores have referred an additional 10,300 patients for glaucoma.

More broadly, Specsavers’ utilisation of benchmark reporting, the OCT rollout, and the introduction of the RANZCO referral guidelines in Australia has led to 115,000 patients being referred for avoidable and treatable causes of blindness this year.

“OCT helps us detect an additional one in five patients who might easily have progressed to irreversible damage and/or vision loss,” said Peter Larsen, Optometry Director for Specsavers Australia & New Zealand. “We are now also turning our focus to diabetic retinopathy, and with the impending launch of the KeepSight national diabetic eye screening program, this will have the effect of building on the 7,000 patients with diabetes that we have already referred this year.”