Sightsavers and Intel Partner to Keep Track of Diabetic Retinopathy Patients

August 2014
Sightsavers and Intel Partner

Sightsavers was announced as the frontrunner in the competition that was held by Intel on technological innovation in the stream of health systems. In view of helping Sightsavers fight for its cause and keeping in view the eye care support initiative that we have taken up in the urban slums of Bangalore, Intel has agreed to develop a robust model to track and influence Diabetic Retinopathy patients in distant locations. This innovation would result in rolling out a cost effective technology tool for tracking, monitoring and guiding patients suffering from chronic eye diseases.

This project would be a part of the national strategy around Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) for Sightsavers and would help us help develop solutions and services to bridge the challenges of outreach in the segment. In addition to the technical support that Intel would offer, the IT giant would also help us match a grant of $5/hour that each of the volunteers will invest in the project which will eventually raise anywhere between $3500 to 7000 of loosely restricted grant for the organization.

Measurable outcomes and impacts:

Eye ailments like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma are some of the emerging causes of blindness in India, especially amongst impoverished and rural communities. It is estimated that close to 16% of all diabetic patients are highly vulnerable to eye related problems called diabetic retinopathy. Such patients require treatments like laser shots at regular time intervals to prevent them from going blind. A critical ingredient for successful management of these cases and preventing them from going blind is regular monitoring of all aspects of the disease. Non-compliance i.e. dropout from annual screening or regular diabetes management often is the cause for irreversible damage. We hence would like to create a cost effective and accessible mechanism through which we can track down and monitor the condition of all the patients (specifically those living in slums and rural areas) suffering with this problem.

Outcome and impact

  • Development and pilot testing of an IT/ mobile-health based solution for tracking individuals with diabetes across various providers for compliance and care
  • Understand the feasibility (operation and financial) of incorporating the ‘tracking solution’ into an existing DR screening program in urban slums of Bangalore city
  • Assess possibility of utilizing the ‘tracking process’ to understand behaviour/ spending patterns of patients with chronic diseases which can then be used as basis for developing a Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) campaign

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