Friday
January 13
2017

Arclight device ‘could save sight of millions’

The Arclight, a cheap, solar-powered ophthalmoscope, was designed by researchers at St Andrews University. It is aimed at helping health workers in poorer countries to detect the signs of blindness.

The small device enables healthcare workers to make instant diagnostic decisions. A study led by the International Centre for Eye Health in London found it performed as well as traditional devices costing up to 100 times as much.

Few hospital-based doctors in poorer countries have the essential instruments to help reveal major conditions that result in blindness, such as trachoma, cataract, glaucoma and diabetes, according to researchers.

In collaboration with the Fred Hollows Foundation and the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, thousands of the instruments have already been distributed to countries including Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Fiji.

Dr Andrew Blaikie, a clinical academic at the university, helped lead a team of researchers which also included scientists from the University of Leicester and University College London. He said: “Arclight is the result of years of hard work by a small team of enthusiasts. These efforts have brought simple, frugal yet highly effective tools to healthcare workers who would otherwise be unable to make the early diagnoses needed to prevent needless blindness.”

Source: BBC (link opens in a new window)

Categories
Health Care
Tags
global health, healthcare technology, research, rural healthcare delivery