A new retinal camera that can detect general health disorders and blinding eye diseases like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy will soon be available to the world. The Vision Cooperative Research Centre (Vision CRC) based in Sydney, Australia announced on Feb. 17, 2013 that it is developing the imaging technology with international partners in Australia, US, China, India and Africa.
The retinal camera is designed to be easy for technical support staff to use, even in remote areas such as Australian Aboriginal communities.
“Medical devices of this nature are typically researched for use in affluent populations and aimed at high-end commercial returns,” CEO of Vision CRC and Brien Holden Vision Institute Professor Brien Holden said.
“This Intelligent Retinal Camera (IRC) system will apply high resolution, multispectral imaging in an economic but high technology instrument that will be affordable and therefore accessible both in remote communities and in community health locations and professional offices throughout the world. Living in remote communities seriously disadvantages patients through lack of access to optometrists and ophthalmologists.”
“The IRC will detect, measure and assess the potential for blinding disease thus preventing lengthy delay in getting treatment to those in need in marginalized communities,” Holden said. “Aboriginal communities will be among the first to experience and benefit from this technology thanks to the funding from the Australian Government recently announced and the partnership with Aboriginal researchers and community health experts.”
The imaging technology was first designed and developed by Professor Tom Cornsweet, who works for Quantum Catch LLC, a company based in Arizona that designs, manufactures, and sells medical devices that screen the body for diseases.
“In this case it is a real dream team,” Holden says. The team members include:
- Tom Cornsweet, CEO Peter Galen and the team at Quantum Catch
- World leading vision technologist Professor Ho from the Brien Holden Vision Institute
- The Institute’s Public Health Division led by Amanda Davis in Sydney and Professor Kovin Naidoo from Durban, South Africa
- The database and clinical research of Professor Mingguang He from China’s leading ophthalmology research institute
- Representatives from the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Centre
- Representatives from the LV Prasad Eye Institute in India
- Professor Jonathan Crowston of Australia’s Centre for Eye Research
- Aboriginal eye health expert Professor Hugh Taylor
- Sandra Bailey, CEO the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW, Australia
- Participants from Ninti One
“This is especially exciting as it is intended that post-CRC the infrastructure and systems will be in place to develop further diagnostics for many of the most difficult and intractable general health and eye conditions,” Holden said.