The Tele-ophthalmology project is a path-breaking new venture that marries technology and expertise with compassion, via a revolutionary self-sustaining model.
Conceived by the team at Venu, and under execution in collaboration with the Departments of Science & Technology and Information Technology, Government of India, this project promises to revolutionise the field of accessible eye care in India.
Currently, we are conducting it as a controlled pilot project wherein 10 Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) are being trained to enable them to add e-health services at the Common Service Centres that they are already managing, under the Government of India’s e-governance initiative.
Once executed with success in the pilot stage, this project will be replicated across the country.
To provide quality eye care services, through the use of tele-ophthalmology, to the doorsteps of people living in rural and other areas that have erstwhile had little or no access to cutting edge health care facilities that are mainly concentrated in urban areas.
- Recruit people from the community who have completed their school level education and have a basic knowledge of computer.
- Provide comprehensive eye care screening training to these individuals, which includes the basic structure and functioning of the eye, eye diseases (causes, symptoms, prevention, treatment), history taking, vision testing, taking pictures of the eye and fundus using the slit lamp and fundus camera and transmitting the information to the eye specialist using tele-ophthalmlogy, and counseling patients who need treatment and even surgery.
- Patients who need simple eye-glasses will be provided spectacles at the clinic. Those who need prescription glasses will be sent to the nearest Venu Vision Centre/Satellite Hospital or if the volume is large, the Vision Technician/Optometrist will visit the primary clinic on a pre-fixed day regularly.
- Those who need medication will be prescribed the medicines by the Ophthalmologist via tele-consultation.
- Those who require further diagnostic treatment or surgery will be transported to the nearest Venu hospital.
- Post operative care will be provided via tele-ophthalmology.
Venu has been providing eye care using tele-ophthalmology since 2009 through its Vision Centres located at Jhajhar, Alwar, Gohana and Pataudi.
Venu has successfully completed a study ‘Evaluation of the effectiveness of diagnostic and management decision by tele-ophthalmology using indigenous equipment in comparison with in-clinic assessment of patients’.
The study found that the efficacy and sensitivity were comparable to tele-ophthalmic diagnosis reported from other worldwide studies.
It is based on the results of this study that the CSC project was conceived.