Researchers in the Centre for Health Service Economics and Organisation are collaborating on a project to trial new cost-effective tests that could help prevent blindness in India.
The ORNATE INDIA project has been awarded £6 million from RCUK's Global Challenges Research Fund, and includes researchers from Oxford University, Moorfields Eye Hospital and Imperial College London.
The team, which is led by Moorfields Eye Hospital's Professor Sobha Sivaprasad, will examine the costs and cost-effectiveness of introducing a new diabetic retinopathy screening programme using smartphone technology. They will also explore the potential impact on the Indian economy of a reduction in the prevalence of blindness due to diabetic retinopathy.
It is estimated that 69 million people in India suffer from diabetes and the most common complication is a deterioration of the blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye, which can lead to blindness if left untreated. Millions of people across the region go untested and do not receive treatment in time to save their sight.
The researchers hope the roll out of a new handheld camera could massively reduce the costs of eye screening.
Starting this October, the four-year study involves CHESO Director Barry McCormick with Robert Anderson, Catia Nicodemo, Stuart Redding and Raphael Wittenberg.