Retina check among Diabetics goes Smarter & Cuts down on Costs
PUNE: Opthalmologists can now rely on indigenous technology to screen diabetic patients in rural India sitting in their clinic through smartphones. ‘Fundus on Phone’, a portable, battery-operated device, can be used through the smartphone to take pictures of the back of the eye, the light sensitive layer called retina. A medical technician carries the device to the village, checks the eyes of the diabetic patients and sends the images to the doctor’s phone through WhatsApp.
The doctor studies the laser sharp images to decide whether the patient needs further intervention. Vision India Foundation is using the technology to hold free screening camps in Junnar, Manchar, Satara, Talegaon and Nashik. “Signs of retinopathy in a diabetic patients are visible well before the onset of the ailment. It starts developing in the periphery of the retina so the patient doesn’t know that he is losing his vision till the centre of the retina is affected. Early detection is the key and Fundus on Phone helps us do that with efficiency and economy,” said Quresh Muskati, president of All-India Opthalmological Society.
Opthalmologists agree that the state government has good medical infrastructure and resources for treating patients with eye ailments. Besides, there are NGOs active in the health sector. “With early detection, we can help save hundreds of diabetic patients from permanent blindness,” concluded Gadkari.