WATERFORD, Ireland, April 21, 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.
Fast emerging as a valuable learning resource for busy professionals and especially during the COVID-19 crisis when more and more people have been working remotely and from home, MacuLearn.com 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 are tested with a short online questionnaire before receiving an online certificate as proof of successful completion.
MacuLearn has also now won continuing education approval from the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE).
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 programmes like this that take large bodies of research and deliver it in digestible form. We are particularly pleased to have secured approval from COPE for our continuing education offering which will be strengthened further as we grow the site."
As research scientists, Professors Nolan and Stringham recognize that the true impact of their work is not realized until those on the front lines, caring for and educating patients have implemented an ocular nutrition strategy into their practices. The Professors feel that nutrition is an underutilized tool. There is a great opportunity to improve upon patients' vision outcomes by helping to share what has been learned through research with those responsible for primary eye care.
"I've seen it really help patients," Professor Nolan states, regarding targeted ocular nutrition, "and that's why we're delighted that a training school as prestigious as Salus has embraced this program designed to educate both doctors and staff members alike."
"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."
www.maculearn.com is now live and will be added to with further learning modules through the rest of 2020 and beyond.