Bill Harvey: Hang on to a dream
Author: Bill Harvey
I was pleased to see last week’s announcement that NICE will be collaborating with the Cochrane group. In essence, this means that future announcements by NICE will be based upon assimilation and analysis of the published evidence base and should be better able to avoid any of the more knee-jerk responses that might be advocated from other quarters with a vested interest or a financial focus. As the announcement is dressed up as part of the ongoing five-year strategy plan for the NHS, a plan some of you may feel has been around for much longer than five years, it is reassuring to know that future announcements affecting eye care, whether concerning access to AMD treatments or the usefulness of tinted lenses for specific patients, will be primarily based on decent science.
Another announcement last week suggested that we will likely soon see the introduction of both Apple glasses and Facebook glasses. Apple has been filing patents for augmented reality technology for years and delays in the roll out of such systems, such as Google Glass, seemed to be more likely due to legal concerns than technological limitations. Such systems, whereby the wearer is presented with a pre-eye image that is enhanced or augmented or replaced altogether with a virtual image, have already made some in-roads in the low vision world (Optician 23.07.21). Let us hope the involvement of the big boys might improve access and affordability without imposing a corporate noose around freedom of use and adaptation.
And finally, teams at Bristol and Krakow Universities have found, albeit in rats, that high fat diets influence obesity by first affecting the structures that control diurnal rhythm. I have longed banged on about the (yet to be fully realised) implications of eye function, the body clock and general health. Another jigsaw piece has just been discovered.