Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) has designed a new inexpensive technology for the screening of eyes. It will be beneficial for the weaker section of the society and also will be accessible through a wider section of people.
As per sources, the computing technology Eye PAC created by the Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC) at IIT Madras is used for extracting information from eye images. HTIC is an R&D Centre formed as a combined scheme of the IIT Madras and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India in order to address the issue of unmet requirements for healthcare technologies of the nation.
The newly developed technology can be set up to create screening and diagnostic resolutions for a variety of vision-threatening diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Sources have added that HTIC has team up with Forus Health, a young Indian med-tech company that has indigenously built 3nethra, an ophthalmic imaging system. This routine solution improves visual appearance of eye images produced by 3nethra and diagnose disease symptoms that results to loss of vision at a very early stage.
K. Chandrasekhar, Chief Executive Officer of Forus Health has said that powered by HTIC’s Eye-PAC technology, 3nethra has now reached over 140 installations across 10 countries including India, China, France, Thailand, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Oman, Mauritius, and Somalia. In a statement issued by Dr. Mohanasankar, IIT Madras faculty, who heads HTIC had mentioned that in view of the shortage of doctors, the need was felt for a technology that will allow eye screening to be done even by a non expert. He added that this can act as a first level of testing so that only the needy patients are referred to the experts.
Sources have added that the Eye-PAC technology’s intelligence in removing clinically important information enables screening for eye diseases even at the absence of an expert. Besides, those patients who are tested positive during screening can later be sent to an expert for recommendations and diagnosis. Dr. Mohanasankar also added that this capability of Eye-PAC combined with 3nethra’s ability to perform eye-examination without dilatation saves time for the patient.
Furthermore, according to a statement issued by IIT Madras Director, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, it is a matter of great satisfaction that IIT Madras, within two years of its inception has been able to collaborate with an Indian tech start-up to develop a world class product with remarkable impact in bridging the gap in ophthalmic screening.