Inspirational story brings support to others living with Diabetic Macular Oedema (DME)


Diabetic Macular Oedema Xplained is a free, innovative resource aimed at explaining complicated disease information to patients and their families through storytelling. It follows the journey of a real patient and breaks down what Diabetic Macular Oedema (DME) is, explains risk factors, treatment options, as well as side effects and psychological issues.

Available online at, Google Play and iTunes. Diabetic Macular Oedema Xplained features the story of Julia, a nurse and diabetic for over 30 years who was diagnosed with diabetic macular oedema 2.5 years ago.
Julia wanted to be part of the app as a way of coming to terms with vision impairment. She says “I hadn’t spoken to many people about my condition and I wanted to help others similar to me. The app is simple and down to earth. It has good solid information just at your fingertips without searching on Dr Google”.
Diabetic Macular Oedema Xplained has been developed and collaborated with input from patients, ophthalmologists, researchers and nurses as well as Macular Disease Foundation, Vision 2020 Australia, Optometry Australia, Diabetes Australia and The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes and is sponsored by Novartis Australia.
Vision 2020 Australia CEO, Carla Northan, explains why the national peak body for Australia’s eye health and vision care sector became involved with DME Xplained.
"Being diagnosed with an ongoing health condition, particularly one that impacts your sight, can be a confronting and isolating experience. People with Diabetic Macular Oedema, living full lives and telling their stories in their own words via the DME Xplained app, demystifies this condition and removes a lot of the fear around it for those living with diabetes”.
Professor Hugh Taylor, President of the International Council of Ophthalmology, sees the value in Diabetic Macular Oedema Xplained. "The app has done an excellent job in making a somewhat complex issue both simple to understand and fun. I hope it gets widely taken up and used.
“Everyone with diabetes is at risk of losing vision and blindness. However, up to 98% of the severe vision loss can be prevented with timely treatment. That is why people with diabetes need to have regular eye tests, once every two years for most people and once every year for Indigenous Australians. I am sure this app will help encourage and reassure people about the issues”.
Dr Kim Chilman-Blair, Founder and CEO of Medicine X, the organisation that worked with Julia to tell her story, believes that storytelling is the best way for patients to understand and retain information in order to make serious decisions about their treatment.
“Around 80 per cent of medical information provided by doctors is forgotten straight away. Diabetic Macular Oedema Xplained is designed to fill these gaps in a creative and powerful way,” Dr Chilman-Blair said.

Notes to editor:

Diabetic Macular Oedema Xplained is a free resource available for all Australians, is sponsored by Novartis Australia and was developed in collaboration Macular Disease Foundation, Vision 2020 Australia, Optometry Australia, Diabetes Australia, and The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes.
For further information, please visit
This release is issued by Medicine X.

For further information, please contact:

Emma Gillespie
Medicine X