Over 80 percent of blindness is preventable if detected early. But still, millions of people remain at risk of vision loss. While patient population is growing rapidly, there is an acute shortfall of qualified ophthalmologists in India. To address the problem of wider accessibility to eye care, Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC) of IIT Madras has created Eye-PAC, a computing technology for extracting information from eye images. Eye-PAC technology can be deployed to create screening and diagnostic solutionsfor a range of vision-threatening diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.
Forus Health, a young Indian med-tech company has indigenously built 3nethra, a revolutionary ophthalmic imaging system. HTIC collaborated with Forus to develop a custom image computing solution for 3nethra based on HTIC's Eye-PAC technology.
This custom solution enhances visual appearance of eye images produced by 3nethra and locates disease signs that may lead to vision loss at a very early stage. Dr Shyam Vasudevarao, president and chief technology officer of Forus Health said, "Translational R&D undertaken by HTIC accelerated product development at Forus, adding great value and synergy to us."
Eye-PAC technology's intelligence in extracting clinically important information enables screening for eye diseases even when an expert is not available. Those who are tested positive during screening can later be sent to an expert for referral and diagnosis. This capability of Eye-PAC combined with 3nethra's ability to perform eye-examination without dilatation (which saves time for patient and operating personnel) enables affordable and large scale screening.
Mr K Chandrasekhar, founder and chief executive officer of Forus Health said, "Powered by HTIC's Eye-PAC technology, 3nethra has now reached over 140 installations across 10 countries, namely India, China, France, Thailand, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Oman, Mauritius, and Somalia."
Together with HTIC's Eye-PAC technology, 3nethra will continue to reach hundreds of thousands of eyes every year.