DELHI, India – According to forushealth.com, there are twelve million blind people in the nation of India today. In perspective, that is over 25% of the 45 million cases of blindness worldwide. The present vision care system in place in India calls for expensive, complex technological devices (a separate device needed for each eye problem). This means high cost of services, as well as high skilled ophthalmologists. In a country where there are only 14,000 ophthalmologists in practice, and a meager 800 new ophthalmologists graduating every year, the people’s eye care needs are not being met. India’s population is reaching one billion, and the ophthalmologist to patient ratio is at a measly 1: 60,000 (and expected much worse in rural regions of the nation).
Forus Health is a healthcare agency working to resolve these issues in healthcare in India, and other impoverished nations. The company was founded by K. Chandrasekhar, who previously worked with Philips Innovation Campus, in Bangalore. The company’s mission is to “address the healthcare delivery crisis in the developing world through innovative and inclusive product design and service deployment.”
Additionally, Forus foresees reaching at least twenty million people in the next three years, change the lives of at least one million, and continue to build their business in order to provide better healthcare to the people of impoverished nations. Specifically, Forus Health has introduced and implemented the 3nethra device. The 3nethra is a portable, intelligent, non-harmful, pre-screening device that can detect 5 major eye problems: Diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, cornea problems and refractive errors. These eye problems contribute to 90% of blindness cases in India.
As a “pre-screening device” the 3nethra is particularly useful for patients who may have early onset, and not see any symptoms initially. The 3nethra provides a “Normal” or “Need to see a doctor” automation when used. This feature is very simple, and easily informs a patient about his/her condition. Additionally, the device will connect care centers to more intensive care centers through “telemedicine” for remote diagnosis, if necessary. Doctors will then be notified at the hospital, and be able to make a diagnosis from the hospital. Operators of the 3nethra don’t need to be doctors, but instead only need to know the anatomy of the eye, and how to communicate with the patient population.
The device is also low cost, and will reduce the costs for patients, as it can check for multiple problems, rather than one problem per each use of expensive piece of machinery. The 3nethra weighs about 15 kg, and can fit into a suitcase.
The Forus name means, “For Us”- me and my community. The innovative company strongly believes that by “Democratizing Wellness,” the company can be an active provider to address blindness in India and other impoverished regions of the world.
– Laura Reinacher