Innovative optical concept offers simple, affordable, fast glaucoma screening test
Innovative technology from product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants could help combat glaucoma – a major global cause of blindness, second only to cataracts. It offers a low-cost, user-friendly way of diagnosing and monitoring the disease – so that early intervention and treatment can help slow its progress.
Glaucoma affects more than 60 million people worldwide. It leads to optic nerve damage as a result of abnormally high fluid pressure inside the eye. The most common form is open-angle glaucoma, which affects around 95% of patients. It causes a gradual loss of peripheral vision – but can be virtually unnoticeable to the patient until they have lost half of their visual field. The damage is irreversible so, without treatment, an individual can become totally blind.
Open-angle glaucoma is hereditary – a family history of the disease increases the risk of an individual developing glaucoma by a factor of between four and nine. So regular checks are crucial for those at risk – and frequent monitoring is needed if problems start to develop.
The new Viewi optical concept developed by Cambridge Consultants shows how it could be possible for patients to monitor any effect on their vision in the comfort of their own homes. At the moment, patients typically have an annual optometrist or hospital check-up using a visual field analyser. Flashing lights at varying points of the visual field test sensitivity – with the patient pressing a button each time they see a light. The novel Viewi technology performs the same test but at a fraction of the cost – around £20 rather than £20,000 for the clinical device.
At the heart of the Viewi concept is the extensive optical expertise of Cambridge Consultants, which has been combined with a smartphone app to reproduce the hospital-based ‘static perimetry’ test. The smartphone is slotted into the light and portable headset, and runs a fast, conventional suprathreshold test in less than five minutes per eye. The patient simply presses a button – connected to the headset wirelessly via Bluetooth Smart – each time they see one of the flashing dots.
Human factors considerations were a key element in the design of the Viewi system as it had to be user friendly for patients with sight problems, many of whom are also elderly. The results of the static perimetry test are displayed in a non-technical, intuitive format on the smartphone – tracking the progression of the disease – and can be shared instantly with the patient’s optician.
“Loss of vision as a result of open-angle glaucoma cannot be recovered – but early diagnosis and treatment can slow the progression of the disease,” said Simon Karger, head of surgical and interventional products at Cambridge Consultants. “But although the current clinical tests work exceptionally well, the system for glaucoma management is overloaded.
“We’ve used our optical expertise – coupled with our algorithm skills – to show how a simple, affordable, fast glaucoma screening test that patients can do at home is entirely feasible. The Viewi system doesn’t aim to replace the current screening and management system – it’s been designed to augment the clinical tests.”
The innovative Viewi concept has been hailed as an important advance by optics expert Chris Dainty, a professor at University College London Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital.
“The Viewi technology could provide a valuable early warning system for people at risk of developing glaucoma, as well as patients who need to monitor the effects of the disease on their vision,” he said. “It could also make the static perimetry test accessible to more patients in developing countries, where expensive clinical equipment and trained professionals are often in short supply.”
Cambridge Consultants （剑桥顾问公司）开发突破性产品，产生和授权知识产权，并为全球的客户提供商业资讯，解决与技术相关的关键问题。60多年来，公司一直致力于帮助客户转化商业机会，包括推出市场领先的产品，进入新市场，引入新技术扩大现有市场。公司拥有超过900名员工，包括工程师、科学家、数学家和设计师，遍布于英国剑桥、美国波士顿、东京和新加坡办事处，为医疗和生命科学、工业和能源、消费和零售以及通讯和基础设施等多个行业提供解决方案。欲了解更多信息，请访问: www.cambridgeconsultants.com。
Cambridge Consultants是 Capgemini Invent （凯捷集团的创新、咨询和转型品牌）的子公司。Capgemini Invent帮助管理者设想和构建他们组织的未来。公司在全球设有30多个办事处和25个创意工作室，是一支拥有7000多名员工的强大团队，将战略、技术、数据科学和创意设计与深厚的行业专业知识和洞察力相结合，开发新的数字解决方案和未来的商业模式。
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Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology-critical issues for clients worldwide. For more than 50 years, the company has been helping its clients turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether they are launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of 750 staff, including engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers, in offices in Cambridge (UK), Boston (USA) and Singapore, Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, digital health, oil and gas, and wireless communications.
Cambridge Consultants is part of Altran, a global leader in engineering and R&D services which offers its clients a new way to innovate. Altran works alongside its clients on every link in the value chain of their project, from conception to industrialisation. In 2016, the Altran group generated revenues of €2.120bn. With a headcount of more than 30,000 employees, Altran is present in more than 20 countries. For more information, visit www.Altran.com