New Tool To Predict Risk Of Retinopathy, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Chennai: A mathematical algorithm that can predict diabetes induced blindness among patients, including those newly detected with the disorder, has been launched in the city by Sankara Nethralaya. The tool, RetinaRisk, was developed with a health tech company from Iceland.

“The tool will be given to physicians and diabetologists besides ophthalmologists. Doctors must feed in six medical details about the patients including sex, age, blood pressure and blood sugar levels and number of years with diabetes. The tool will be able to predict the risk of vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy in a year,” said senior retina surgeon Dr Rajiv Raman, senior consultant with Sankara Nethralaya.

This means any doctor could use it, including primary care physicians who interact far more frequently with patients with diabetes, rather than patients having to seek out eye doctors themselves, he said.

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue (retina) at the back of the eye. Although there are no symptoms in the initial stages, it can lead to blindness without medical intervention. Data show one in 25 people with diabetes over the age of 40 has this condition.

“In a country which has a high incidence of diabetes, this can be disastrous. We will have an epidemic of blindness if we fail to do early diagnosis and treatment,” he said.

During our trial at the Nethralaya, doctors found that the tool was nearly 85 per cent accurate, he added.
While patients can be put on medicines, drugs and exercise regimen that will keep their diabetes and blood pressure under control, they can also be categorised as low, moderate, and high risk.

This way their eye checks can also be planned early, said RetinaRisk chairman Bala Kamallakharan. “This tool is used by several European countries, but we are not using the algorithm used in the west. We have fed Indian data and hence the prediction is tailor- made for the Indian,” he said.

  • Published On Apr 23, 2023 at 02:40 PM IST

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Author: DelhiStyle

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