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IRIS Loan Equipment 

The Indigenous and Remote Eye Health Service (IRIS) is now supporting remote eye services through the provision of portable diagnosic and treatment equipment for outreach services.

The Indigenous and Remote Eye Health Service (IRIS) is an initiative of the Australian Government (through the Department of Health and Ageing) and the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists (ASO) to deliver a national approach to the delivery of eye health services in Australia's rural and remote communities.

Led by a multi-disciplinary taskforce (including Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Eye Health Coordinators and the Federal Government) IRIS has achieved much since its inception. Key achievements include:
• The establishment of sustainable remote surgical and consultative eye health services in each state and territory (excluding the ACT)
• The identification, purchase and distribution of over 1.5 million dollars of eye health equipment to remote locations across Australia
• The establishment of a national body to support eye health telemedicine outcomes across Australia.

In 2012, the Indigenous and Remote Health Eye Service (IRIS) was able to work in partnership with the Wuchopperen Health Service in Cape York, Queensland to source federal government funding and procure an extensive range of high quality eye health equipment for their regional eye program. As part of this, the Wuchopperen Health service agreed to release their old equipment to IRIS for refurbishment.

Under the management of IRIS Taskforce Member and Optometrist Rowan Churchill and with Federal Government assistance, IRIS has been able to refurbish this equipment. A key achievement in this process has been the development of a fully portable slit lamp table.

The full list of equipment held by IRIS to support remote eye health workers includes:
• A fully portable slit lamp table including power source (weighing 13kg)
• Haag Streit Bm-900 Slit Lamp
• A full set of testing gear including auto-refractor/keratometer, tonometer, lensmeter, trail set, BIO, diagnostic lenses etc.

Through the renovation of this equipment IRIS is hoping to enable those communities across Australia that will never get a slit lamp table due to funding and storage issues, to now recieve both diagnosis and treatment without the need to travel to a regional centre. Eye Clinics set up in larger facilities that don't currently have a Slit Lamp available will also benefit, as will those with 'greenfield' projects that have limited or no equipment.

The equipment is stored in custom made transport boxes at the IRIS headquarters in Brisbane, is fully insured and able to be couriered to any part of Australia for indigenous and remote eye health initiatives. IRIS is currently developing a short 'how to' video to support the equipment's use.

To express an interest in utilising this equipment for outreach activities, please Contact Sam Chenoweth, IRIS Program Coordinator on +61 7 3831 3007 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

You can view the instructional video's on the equipment and how to use it at:

For further information on the IRIS program, and its activities and achievements, please visit


footer_logosFunding for this project is provided to the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists by the Australian Government
under the Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program – Eye Health Teams for Rural Australia measure