Blindness costs Canadians almost $16-billion a year, with two of its leading causes, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, often detected too late to prevent vision loss. Two University of Toronto medical students may have a found a solution, however — in India.
Jeff Martin and Mohan Pandit say a device known as 3nethra, which comes from a country where millions have lost their eyesight because they don’t have access to the right care, could save Canada more than $1-billion annually.
Designed for a country where there is one ophthalmologist for every 60,000 people, 3nethra can be operated by someone with little expertise and is about one-third to one-quarter the price of a comparable high-end device in Canada. It captures an image of the back of the eye with a simplified retinal camera and provides a report with a diagnosis. It’s more accurate and easier to use than the hand-held ophthalmoscopes currently used by Canadian doctors, Mr. Pandit and Mr. Martin say.