Technology leverage in eye health
Cataract and uncorrected refractive error are the two major causes of blindness in India. Lack of access is a major barrier for the poor rural communities to avail eye care services. Distance and expenses such as transport fare and loss of daily wages are key factors that prevent people from accessing services at hospitals. To help address this, not-for-profit eye health institutions have designed programmes to take quality eye health services to the patients’ door steps.
Most of the modern eye care screening equipment for common eye conditions such as refractive error, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, Cataract etc., are not portable, thereby limiting the reach of the screening and the treatment. Therefore an innovative ophthalmic device called 3nethra, primarily designed to address ‘avoidable blindness’ has been used for such programmes.
3nethra is a recent innovation by Forus Health – a medical technology company with a goal to prevent avoidable blindness. It has been working on technology innovation and creative business models to help develop sustainable access to vision care. Its products are designed to create social impact. It is designed to acquire, display, store and transmit images of the posterior and anterior surfaces of the eye. This device can be used to detect 5 major ailments including cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, corneal diseases and refractive errors. The device can be operated by a trained technician and helps identify patients requiring intervention. Only those patients needing intervention are sent to the base hospital for further treatment. This frees up the load on the Ophthalmologists who are limited in number.
The Foundation has supported the following eye health institutions with 3nethra to help increase access to quality eye care to underprivileged sections of society.
- Community Eye Care Foundation (CECF), Pune
- Sankara Eye Hospital, Bengaluru
- Sharadadevi Eye Hospital, Pavagada, Karnataka
- Velemegna Good News Society, Bidar, Karnataka
- Vivekanand Eye Hospital, Gumballi, Karnataka
- Viswa Seva Samiti, Sirsi, Karnataka