By Tessa Sipila, Business Development Manager, Optomed
In Bangladesh, over 13 million people suffer from diabetes according to the International Diabetes Federation. These people are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy (DR) at some point of their lives. DR is the most common eye disease related to diabetes and can lead to blindness if untreated. Since DR changes in the retina develop little by little, and the first symptoms are asymptomatic, regular eye screenings are needed to find the retinal changes early and to enable timely treatment.
The National Institute of Ophthalmology in Bangladesh is organizing diabetic eye screenings in a National Eye Care (NEC) project, and they have entrusted Optomed Aurora IQ handheld fundus cameras as their primary screening devices for DR. Optomed is a Finnish medical technology company that combines handheld fundus cameras with software and artificial intelligence with the aim to transform the diagnostic process of various diseases, such as rapidly increasing diabetic retinopathy.
So far, Optomed has delivered over 130 handheld fundus cameras to NEC in Bangladesh since the beginning of the project, through a local partner Fashion Optic Ltd. The latest camera delivery of 70 cameras marks a significant expansion of Optomed’s contribution to NEC project, benefiting many clinics, hospitals, and healthcare centers throughout Bangladesh.
Optomed handheld fundus cameras will enable medical professionals to quickly and accurately screen patients for the early detection of diabetic retinopathy. This is also a significant step forward in the fight against diabetes-related blindness and in improving the lives of people across the country. “There are more plans for the near future. Hopefully all NEC centers in the country will have access to retinal screening with Optomed handheld fundus camera, and DR can be detected at an early stage”, says Fahimul Ismal, Business development director of Fashiopn Optics Ltd.
“Our collaboration with Optomed has taken us to a new dimension where the most remote areas of the country can now perform diabetic eye screening”, states Fahimul Ismal. “I am very proud to have such a robust equipment out in the field. Once we have trained the new healthcare staff members to perform the eye screenings, we have not received any troubleshooting calls from those over 100 users”.
The Optomed team, in collaboration with Fashion Optics, had the privilege of visiting Singair Upazila Health Complex, one of the NEC project’s more than 400 centers, as well as the National Institute of Ophthalmology Hospital in Bangladesh. This visit provided an invaluable opportunity to meet with the dedicated teams tirelessly conducting vital eye screenings. This National Eye Care project significantly improves the screening process for DR in Bangladesh and plays an important role in enhancing eye screening initiatives across the nation.
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