Harlow, Essex (PRWEB UK) 15 October 2012
Haag-Streit UK and CenterVue are pleased to announce the joint sponsorship of a DRS non-mydriatic retinal camera for use in a study being undertaken by Dr Andrew Bastawrous, International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
Dr Andrew Bastawrous is an Ophthalmologist and Clinical Research Fellow at the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) at the LSHTM. Andrew is leading a cohort study looking at the incidence and progression of eye diseases in an East African population base in Kenya.
Andrew comments, “There is a paucity of information from this region in which there is so much avoidable blindness. The data from this study may well further our knowledge of why UK nationals from this ethnic sub-group tend to have a higher prevalence and more aggressive form of certain eye disease”.
Andrew will carry out a 12-18 month study, which is similar in scope to Cohort Studies performed elsewhere in the world, including the Beaver Dam Eye Study, on which many other studies are based. The cohort of 5,000 subjects lives in various communities in the Nakuru district of Kenya. The study will commence in November 2012.
All Subjects will be examined using internationally accepted standards and state-of-the art equipment, which includes; applanation tonometry, slit lamp examination of the anterior chamber, perimetry, grading of fundus photographs of the optic disc, and a detailed assessment of risk factors. Andrew will collect information on the incidence and progression of several diseases including age-related cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Once the data collated from this study has been analysed, Andrew will compare this information to other cohorts. This will be the first eye disease cohort study performed in Africa.
The ultimate aim of this study is to gather considerable data to meet the WHO’s Vision 2020 strategy, understanding the causes and risk factors in eye disease, which ultimately leads to vision loss. Andrew is based at LSHTM and is collaborating with Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Kenyan Ministry of Health.
In order to carry out the study, Andrew will utilise a range of ophthalmic equipment, in the field, including Haag-Streit products such as; a BM900 Slit Lamp and Goldmann tonometer, in addition to the sponsored DRS fundus camera, which is required for both retinal and disc imagery.
Andrew commented, “The DRS was a great choice for this study because of the excellent image quality and its ease-of-use. The fact it has an integrated PC makes the instrument easy to transport between the various locations. Also, the camera is fully sealed, which means that debris is unlikely to get into the unit and onto the optics.” This is unique to a fundus camera and essential for the nature of the field-based work and diverse geography involved.
Andrew flew out the week commencing 15th October to prepare his team for the study. In addition to supplying the DRS, Haag-Streit UK’s DRS Product Manager, Jacqui Kenyon, also carried out a ‘train-the-Trainer’ course on the DRS a week prior to Andrew’s departure. This will enable Andrew to train his 15-strong team on the DRS, in Kenya, prior to commencing the study.
Andrew explained, “The DRS requires minimum operator training and has a manual mode, so the team will hopefully master how to capture excellent images before we commence the field work. The operational speed of the device and single button operation enables the DRS to automatically detect the patient, self-align to the patient’s eye, focus on the retina, adjust the flash level and capture a high quality image in less than 30 seconds. This is essential when aiming to capture in the region of 25,000 images.”
Haag-Streit UK’s National Sales Manager, Grahame Wood, commented, “We are delighted to co-sponsor a DRS for this study. It is the ideal fundus camera for both the study participants and the environment. It’s an automated system, with auto-detect, auto-align, auto-focus and auto-capture. Andrew’s team will quickly grasp how to operate the equipment and will be able to capture excellent images quickly and efficiently.”
Jacqui Kenyon, HS-UK DRS Product Manager added, “Andrew is also considering using the Eye Knowledge Network (EKN) capability where he can send images at the touch-of-a-button to the grading centre at Moorfields via the Internet for review, comment and immediate diagnosis. This is in beta mode at the moment, however, CenterVue is keen to offer this new breakthrough telemedicine platform to assist the study.”
Final information and data from the study will be analysed and cascaded to the global Ophthalmology community through peer-reviewed papers and presentations.
For further information, please contact Haag-Streit UK on +44 (0)1279 456261, or visit http://www.haagstreituk.com.