EBS are pleased to confirm the award of an Innovate UK Grant, the grant will enable us to progress our Research and Development into improving the Diagnosis and Non-Invasive Treatment of Cataracts.
Our devices and training modules are being designed for ease of use, such that there will no longer be a need for sophisticated operating theatres and associated surgical support teams, but rather our diagnostic and treatment services will be conducted in the local community, thus significantly improving the lives of millions of people in developing countries, where they currently have little, if any access to cataract diagnostic and treatment.
Our end goal is to commercialise our products in developed countries, such that we can offer free, at point of care, diagnosis and treatment in developing countries, including children. One of our target countries is India, who have circa 280,000 – 320,000 cases of childhood cataracts (14% of their childhood blindness).
The Indian journal of ophthalmology recognise the scale of their problem and are cited; “Untreated cataracts in children lead to tremendous social, economic, and emotional burden to the child, family, and society. Paediatric cataract managed earlier can have a tremendous impact on the lives of individuals, their families, communities, and the socioeconomic status of the country. Children who are visually impaired need to overcome a lifetime of social, emotional, and economic difficulties. This influences their education, employment, and social life. Approximately 70 million blind-person-years are caused by childhood blindness, of which about 10 million blind-person-years (14%) are due to childhood cataracts”.
Moreover, we believe there could be as many as £5 million cases of childhood cataracts worldwide.
Age related cataract however remains the major cause of blindness throughout the world and it is estimated that cataracts will affect over 50 million people a year globally, by 2020. The main reasons for low uptake of cataract surgery in developing countries are lack of eye healthcare, poor surgical outcome and high cost. Various strategies have been suggested by the global initiative “Vision 2020: the right to sight”, launched by the World Health Organisation, to eliminate the main causes of all preventable and treatable blindness as a public health issue by the year 2020.