Eye care about you!
Interested in optics, cameras and images from an early age, Michael Coote says he took his first look at the beauty of the eye under a slit lamp and thought, “Wow!”
Michael continues to be enthralled by his chosen field, finding immense satisfaction in turning around a problem or disease that would otherwise have sent a patient blind. A leading glaucoma specialist, Michael is stimulated by technically complicated and challenging surgical problems involving trauma and glaucoma, delighting in finding new ways around old problems.
Cutting edge technology and techniques have replaced the historic ‘seat of the pants’ management of glaucoma, according to Michael. “Medicine and investigation have all advanced, especially in surgical treatment. We now have astigmatic intraocular lenses for cataract surgery – we can take cataract out of eyes with very small pupils without damaging the iris; we can make glaucoma operations work where they never would have in the past.”
Michael is involved in many research projects, including a new implant for glaucoma, and has a keen interest in translating basic research into clinically useful and stable form. “We are much better than we were and more exciting advances will occur, particularly in glaucoma surgery.
Michael has recently retired from the Clinical Director of Ophthalmology role at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, but remains as a senior consultant to the Glaucoma Clinic. He has a governance role as a Board Member for Mercy Health and Chairs the Board Quality Committee. In addition, he is the lead investigator in the Glaucoma Surgery Unit at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA).
Michael is the lead clinician in a project to develop a simple tele-ophthalmology system. This is a joint government, industry and hospital innovation, and it has developed the EyeConnect device (a remote operated slit lamp, operating through the web) as well as a disposable tonometry, the first of its kind in the world. Michael also developed, with others in CERA, the teaching system known as the Glaucomatous Optic Neuropathy Evaluation, or GONE. GONE has been released free onto the web and is an iPad app, which has been downloaded over 6,000 times, and is now certified for CPD. It is unique in its field and it has been extensively published and presented.
In glaucoma surgery research, Michael and others have been developing some groundbreaking work in establishing why glaucoma surgery does not always work the way we would like, and offering some solutions to this. This work has been published and has won local and international awards, and is now used by others in the field. The work is continuing.
Michael is a keen teacher and has taught all around the world, and continues to enjoy writing and teaching in glaucoma and in medical quality.
MB, BS, FRANZCO, GAICD
Medical Board of Victoria
Board Director St. Vincent's Health Australia (SVHA)
Chair Research and Education SVHA
Executive committee member and meeting convenor International Society for Glaucoma Surgery (ISGS)
Co-Founder of Vivid White PTY LTD
Senior Consultant Glaucoma Unit Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH)
Lead researcher Glaucoma Surgery Unit Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA)