The NHS hopes to make blindness caused by diabetes a thing of the past by investing £27m in digital imaging technology.
A three-year initiative is to provide funds for Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in England to screen diabetes sufferers for deterioration of eyesight, using retinopathy cameras.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults, with around 1,000 diabetes sufferers losing their sight each year.
The digital retinopathy cameras create digital images of the eye that can be tracked over a period of time to identify eyesight deterioration.
The technology will help protect thousands of diabetes suffers from becoming blind, according to junior health minister David Lammy.
"Many thousands of people with diabetes will benefit from enhanced eye tests as this money will ensure that PCTs in England will have the latest state-of-the-art digital cameras," said Lammy in a statement.
"This equipment will help the NHS make diabetes-related blindness a thing of the past."
The investment will be in three stages, with £5m this year and £9.6m and £12.4m for the following two years.
The NHS is currently increasing its focus on the use of IT to improve patient care, and is to spend £5bn on a National Programme for IT to improve the health service's infrastructure.
David Cheeseman, director at healthcare technology supplier WCI, said IT would improve diagnostics and management in the service. "It is inevitable that more and more doctors, and not just managers, will use technology," he said.
Doctors will be able to improve how they manage patient information and test results with integration technology, ensuring the right people get access to the right information, he added.
"IT will make the difference in terms of the ability to complete effective diagnosis, as well as integrating health data."
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