Celebrating KeepSight’s two-year anniversary

Hear from some of the KeepSight program’s key players as we celebrate its anniversary.

With more than 1.7 million Australians living with diabetes, and half not receiving recommended eye checks putting themselves at risk of developing diabetes-related retinopathy, KeepSight was established as an important program to support people with diabetes to keep on top of their regular eye checks.

Vision 2020 Australia

Vision 2020 Australia CEO Judith Abbott said key industry players advocated for many years for the program and two years on, the focus was now on rallying support from the wider optometric sector to ensure patient access.

“So much of the vision loss associated with diabetes can be prevented with regular eye examinations. We have seen a national program in the UK lead to marked reductions in diabetic retinopathy and want Australians living with diabetes to benefit from a similar approach,” said Ms Abbott.

At time of writing (end of January 2021), more than 137,000 Australian patients with diabetes had enrolled with KeepSight and registrations are estimated to grow to 200,000 by June 2021. On top of this, 3,638 optometrists are currently signed up to register to KeepSight and 2,857 optometrists have registered patients since the program began.

Diabetes Austalia

Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said optometrists who register people with diabetes to KeepSight are not only playing a critical role in improving health outcomes but will also benefit from an increase in return visits from people with diabetes due to reminders coming from the respected third party.

“KeepSight is a national program for all eyecare providers. One of its early adopters and key funders is Specsavers whose optometrists have been registering people with diabetes to the program since it launched. In the last 12 months, Specsavers have driven a dramatic take up of people with diabetes to the program, through the integration of KeepSight into their practice workflow.”


Specsavers Head of Professional Services Naomi Barber said, “Specsavers uses KeepSight as a secondary source of communication to its diabetes-specific recall messages. In September 2019, Specsavers diabetes recall achieved an optometric attendance rate of 30 per cent. While this was double the response rate of our standard patient recall, it highlighted the opportunity to reinforce diabetes recall messaging with KeepSight reminder messaging.

“In the relatively short time KeepSight reminders have been in place, we have already seen a marked increase in people with diabetes responding to reminders. Since KeepSight has been implemented, recall rates have already increased to 34% for people with diabetes.”

Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA)

Associate Professor Peter van Wijngaarden from the Centre for Eye Research Australia and the University of Melbourne says KeepSight, as a public-private collaboration, was a once in a generation opportunity to end avoidable vision loss from diabetes.

“We have all of the right ingredients for success in Australia. We have arguably one of the world’s best trained eye health workforces. We have excellent diabetes clinicians. We have subsidised eye examinations for all people with diabetes. We have the National Diabetes Services Scheme Registry. We have unparalleled access globally to the very best treatments for diabetic eye disease and we have a government and private stakeholders that have invested in this program.

“KeepSight aims to bring all of these success factors together, closing the loop on eye health for Australians with diabetes. With 200,000 KeepSight registrations in our grasp and evidence of clinical impact beginning to emerge, we’re well on our way to success. Continued cross-sector collaboration and engagement with KeepSight will be key to delivering the best possible eyecare for Australians with diabetes,” Prof van Wijngaarden said.

For more information about KeepSight or to sign up as a health professional to begin registering people with diabetes to the program, visit www.keepsight.org.au.