Optometrists keep an eye on heart health
With 2023 research suggesting 66 per cent of people susceptible to heart disease are unaware they are at risk, new optometry technology is breaking ground in the detection of potential heart issues through the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
As a means of bridging the gap between eye care and general health care, Bupa Optical’s Microvascular Health Assessment uses AI technology to detect underlying health problems and help customers better understand whether they are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
To date, the Microvascular Health Assessment has graded three per cent of customers whose heart health risk rating has been assessed by the tool as ‘poor’ with Bupa optometrists subsequently advising them to see their doctor for possible further tests and discussions before many knew they may have a health issue.
Guneet Sawhney, Director Bupa Optical & Hearing said the test compares a patient’s eyes with a database of retinal images in a matter of seconds to check for similarities to other conditions that may be a signs of a potential heart issue through a detailed report.
“The eye is a window into the heart and the only place in the body where people can get a direct, non-invasive view of a person’s blood vessels which can tell a broad story about an individual’s current and future health risks,” Guneet said.
The eye is a window into the heart and the only place in the body where people can get a direct, non-invasive view of a person’s blood vessels which can tell a broad story about an individual’s current and future health risks.
“Through our Microvascular Health Assessment tool, we’re extending routine eye tests into broader non-invasive health checks which can be referred to a medical professional if any red flags come up. This makes heart health monitoring more accessible for everyday Australians.”
This advice is being reinforced in the lead-up to World Heart Day aimed at promoting better heart health practices such as eating better, exercising more and regularly monitoring your health. Around the world cardiovascular disease kills more than 20.5 million people every year and accounts for one in four Australian deaths.
“We truly believe this technology, which is available as an add-on to a standard eye test, can help customers better understand their underlying heart health,” Guneet said.
For more information or to book an eye test at your nearest Bupa Optical store visit here.
 RACGP - At-risk Australians lack awareness about heart failure
 March – September 2023 Bupa Optical customer data
 What is CVD? - World Heart Day (world-heart-federation.org)
 For Professionals | Heart Foundation