Technology leverage in eye health

Lack of access is a barrier for the poor rural communities to avail eye care services. To help address this, not-for-profit eye health institutions have designed programmes to take quality eye health services to the patients’ doorsteps.

Most modern eye care screening equipment for common eye conditions such as refractive error, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, Cataract etc., are not portable. The constraint limits 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 an innovation by Forus Health – a medical technology company to prevent avoidable blindness. Forus Health has been working on technology innovation and creative business models to develop sustainable access to vision care. It designs its products to create social impact. The 3nethra is designed to acquire, display, store and transmit images of the posterior and anterior surfaces of the eye. The device can detect five major ailments including cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, corneal diseases and refractive errors. Trained technicians can operate the device identifying patients who require intervention. Only those patients needing intervention get referred to the base hospital for further treatment. It frees up the load on the Ophthalmologists who are limited in number.

In the last decade, 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 and Viswa Seva Samiti, Sirsi, Karnataka.