Early detection of retinopathy in children -- thanks to solution crafted by eye institute and a telemedicine developer, both Indian
A disease that causes childhood blindness in one of five children, may be tackled early – thanks to the collaboration between a leading eye hospital and a telemedicine application developer, both based inIndia: They have harnessed the i-Phone as the vehicle to reach images of a possibly-affected child’s retina almost in real time to a qualified specialist.
The disease is called Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and is the leading cause of preventable infant blindness worldwide. In India, over 8% of 27 million births each year are at risk of this potentially blinding condition. Roughly if 100 ‘at-risk’ infants are screened, 15-20% may require treatment that can prevent blindness says Dr Anand Vinekar, Project Coordinator & Pediatric Retinal Surgeon at the Narayana Nethralaya, Postgraduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Bangalore.The Institute has evolve a unique tele-medicine software which allows screening of rural and semi-urban infants for this potentially blinding condition.
Technicians capture the image of the retinas of infants in the outlying rural areas using a special digital camera. The images are transmitted to experts in the hospital using a tele-ophthalmology software developed by software developer i2iTeleSolutions who have tweaked it to run on an iPhone
“We required a dedicated web-based software with progressive viewing to speedily allow access to our experts at the base hospital. This quest lead to the development of this new technology” says Dr Bhujang Shetty, Chairman of Narayana Nethralaya. Adds Sham Banerji, CEO of i2iTeleSolutions, "The i2i team is proud that our CARE TeleOphthalmology software connects ROP specialists to pre mature infants in the farthest corners of India”.
The i2i application lets doctors see amazingly clear images of the retina and report findings anywhere, anytime, real time. The pilot will run for 36 months.