Glaucoma is the leading irreversible cause of blindness worldwide. What’s even more alarming is that in its early stages, it is asymptomatic. So more than half of the patients who are affected don’t know that they have this illness until much irreparable damage has been done to their vision.
In order to better identify patients who would benefit from early treatment, it is necessary for patients to have early detection of this disease. But early detection is difficult. As it stands, not all patients have access to an ophthalmologist for glaucoma screening due to barriers such as finances, distance and time.
Lumos aims to alleviate this problem. The kit consists of two components.
The first component is a low-cost lens attachment that allows nonspecialist to take a picture of an eye’s retina. This lens mimics ophthalmoscopes that cost up to thousands of dollars for about 30 dollars.
The second component is an algorithm that analyzes the retinal image for patterns of glaucoma and identifies risk. This lets the person know if there are anomalies in the anatomy of their eye.
A smartphone app connects these two components, by first allowing patients to take a picture of their eye, and then providing an analysis.
All the patient needs is a smartphone, and the app will identify the glaucoma risk rapidly and automatically, so those lacking medical access can screen for glaucoma themselves. This way, patients can better access screening for glaucoma and detect the disease in its early stages. –Shalin Shah