Photo courtesy of Rigshospitalet (Copenhagen)

Prevent blindness with fast and low-cost glaucoma screening

Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that often leads to blindness. It is incurable but if diagnosed at an early stage, inexpensive medical treatment can keep the disease at bay. However, the conventional diagnostic method is difficult, time-consuming, and costly.

For the past three years, a  group of professionals and researchers across Europe have been working together to develop a new non-invasive, low-cost method to diagnose glaucoma at an early stage.

The group has invented an instrument that can make high resolution 2D retinal images to identify early stages of glaucoma. The images show the back of the retina, the optical node as well as its blood supply and enables ophthalmologists to make a precise diagnose and start treatment.

Because the new instrument is low-cost, fast, and easy to operate, it can be used to implementing a universal screening that would save an estimated 4 million people from blindness every year.

The instrument is based on polarization-sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography scanning. Key components in the instrument are a broadband white light laser, a broadband interferometer, and some broadband spectrometers.

See how the instrument works in this video.

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