Vision Centres and Tele-medicine
Working towards aiding visual impairment,
under the leadership of Mr. Mritunjay from Akhand Jyoti; in Rural India.
Akhand Jyoti Vision Centers and Telemedicine at Bihar:
Akhand Jyoti prioritizes work on eradicating Bilateral Blindness. They address the problem by setting up Vision Centers (VC) in places where they have already performed at least over 50,000 surgeries in the last few years. Akhand Jyoti wants to scale up its VC operations across Bihar to spread up its mission of eradicating avoidable blindness by 2022.
Joy of Helping will be opening up between 6-7 vision centers in seven districts strategically based on the need and detail analysis with collaboration with Akhand Jyoti’s advice and their input and time schedule in 2021 to eliminate part of the blindness in Bihar.
This new pattern of proactively seeking eye care before it is too late makes the role of vision centers even more crucial in an eye care institution’s mix of outreach initiatives. Of the patients who seek care at these centers, over 90% can be fully treated on-site and less than 10% are referred to the base hospital for further treatment, usually for surgery or advanced investigations. Vision Centers have been able to achieve much higher penetration of those in need of eye care
We will be opening Up 5 to 6 vision centers
Next year. We have provided the funding for one vision center and we have provided 25 lakh rupees to develop cell phone telemedicine applications in Hindi.
This application will help to identify patients with eye problems earlier and correct the vision on a timely basis.
A vision center is a small, permanent facility set up to provide primary eye care services to semi-rural and rural communities. Ophthalmic assistants operate the center, but with the help of telemedicine, patients can consult ophthalmologists in the base hospital and avail of treatment. Those with complicated problems are referred to the hospital. Researches show that permanent eye care facilities in rural areas motivate people to seek earlier treatment for vision problems, allowing them to reintegrate back into the workforce instead of becoming visually impaired. This new pattern of proactively seeking eye care before it is too late makes the role of vision centers even more crucial in an eye care institution’s mix of outreach initiatives. Of the patients who seek care at these centers, over 90% can be fully treated on-site and less than 10% are referred to the base hospital for further treatment, usually for surgery or advanced investigations. Vision Centers have been able to achieve much higher penetration of those in need of eye care. These centers have been able to reach more than 90% of those who need care within four years.
It is therefore important to create a legacy community eye care unit in the region. As a thumb rule for every 200,000 population, a VC needs to be set up to provide primary eye care and surgical referral? Given the large population of each district of Bihar, each district would need at least 10-12 VC.
Friends of Joy of Helping provided the project funding of 2.5 million INR. This would include the product development cost, licensing, integration cost, and handheld tools to check the eye disease at the campsite
The report claims that Bihar shows the highest growth in new internet user additions across both urban and rural areas, registering a growth of 35% over last year
Why Now- The development of the APP was a pressing issue for quite some time and in need of resource allocation. However, in light of the COVID-19 crisis, the post-COVID-19 outbreak scenario will make social distancing mandatory. In this light, Akhand Jyoti would have to cut down on the screening and servicing of the patients at screening camps and fixed facilities. This would leave a lot of patients without any recourse to avail of basic eye care facilities. It is in this context the development of the APP is a priority more than ever. The APP would provide an alternative to these patients to access eye care without having to leave their homes.
What will the App do – The App will help connect patients from rural Bihar & Uttar Pradesh( in the present scope, can be expanded into newer territories
- New and existing rural Patients of Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital for quick, easy to use online consultation and prescription generation
- Akhand Jyoti’s Community Outreach workers- Use the App to bridge patients in remote areas directly with the doctor’s office for access and continuity of care.
- Doctor’s at Akhand Jyoti – Use the web interface of the App to provide online consultation to the patients