Harnessing technology and product innovation to deliver eye care to all
Hyderabad, 27 September, 2021: Honourable Minister for Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Industries & Commerce, and Information Technology, Govt. of Telangana – Sri K T Rama Rao on 22nd September 2021 inaugurated the Poornima and Ramam Atmakuri Technology Centre at L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI)’s Gullapalli Pratibha Rao International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye Care (GPR ICARE), Kismatpur.
Speaking on the occasion Sri K T Rama Rao said, I have been part of many of the milestones of LV Prasad Eye Institute and its always pleasure to interact, it energises, gives more enthusiasm. Here is a gentleman Dr GN Rao, who could have simply stayed put in USA after his education, choose not to and came back to do not a very glamorous work, in 1986 he came back to contribute his might to the country and the people, that has led to establishing of a brilliant institution of world-class standards. There are very few institutions in India that can match up to LV Prasad standards, my compliments to Dr GN Rao. Here you built a complete ecosystem. Today, 80% of medical devices are imported in India, despite the Prime Minister telling us to make in India, the Chief Minister of Telangana calling for more investments in the state, asking to create more jobs. We in fact set up a very large medical devices park at Sultanpur, it has taken off very well, there are more than 28 companies which took land and are in advanced stage of completing their project, what I would strongly request is to get all the companies which manufacture your medical devices for ophthalmology, I would be more than happy to create a small cluster in medical devices park and we can give them customised centres, LV Prasad Eye Institute can play a sheet anchor role with you bringing them all together, that will go very well with Atma Nirbhar Bharat or Self Reliant India. What I really like about LV Prasad Eye Institute is the way you go about setting up small clinics in smaller towns including my constituency Sircilla, you created Hubs and started looking at Hub and Spoke model, quite a ambitious initiative. In fact I was told that my district will be the first district where there will be no eye care problems in children. Our Hon’ble Chief Minister’s initiative for eyecare is laudable, in fact three years ago we launched a program which is one of its kind, probably the biggest in the world called as Kanti Velugu, a screening camp for every citizen in Telangana and what he intended was to start building records of each and every citizen, be it eye care or ENT problem or other problems with the intention of creating Digital Health Profile of the entire state, in that direction we made a right beginning. I am delighted that your electronic medical records crossed 1 crore, compliments to you for being ahead of us, but I want you to join us in our effort also and connect those to our records to build up further data base.
Ramam Atmakuri, Executive Vice-Chair, LVPEI, said, Our Engineering team here is going to bring out some unique and great products from this centre, what’s unique about this Institute is we have, Ophthalmologist, Engineers, Optometrists all under one roof, the people who conceptualise those things and build them. We are putting such products to use in our clinics and take them to the market. We have several such products in the pipeline and will be in the market in the next couple of years, the institute is doing some path breaking work and the products will be in the market.
Innovation has been a part of LVPEI’s DNA right from its inception in 1987. Beginning 2013, the institute started focusing on ‘Technology and Product Innovation’ to integrate technology and eye care, aiming to bring down the cost of delivering eye care and making high-quality eye care accessible to the community, thereby tackling geographical and economic challenges. All the technology and innovation work done at LVPEI will now fall under the umbrella of the Poornima & Ramam Atmakuri Technology Centre. The Centre includes – product development, re-engineered medical eye care products, scleral lens manufacturing (speciality contact lenses), Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems and the Data Science and Healthcare Incubator.
In recognition of the significant contribution made by Mr Ramam Atmakuri – Executive Vice-Chair, LVPEI, towards the technology development initiatives at the institute, the centre has been named after him and his wife – Mrs Poornima Atmakuri. Equipped with a state-of-the-art facility, the centre has a multi-disciplinary team of engineers, ophthalmologists, optometrists, technologists and public health specialists.
“Our constant effort is to reduce the dependency of LVPEI on imported surgical tools, spare parts and machines and come up with indigenously developed innovative solutions to fulfil this requirement, and also develop low cost innovate devices and technologies to meet the eye health needs of the large populations. We thank KTR Garu for joining us on this special occasion,” said Dr Ramesh Kekunnaya, Director, Centre for Technology Innovation at LVPEI.
Some of the significant headways made at the centre are:
- Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system: The award-winning in-house developed ophthalmic Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system and hospital management system is being used in all 230+ LVPEI centres and 33 partner hospitals spread across India, Liberia, Nepal, Cambodia, Mexico, Cyprus and the Dominican Republic.
- Centre for Innovation (supported by CYIENT): During the formal ideation of the centre in 2013, late Sri APJ Abdul Kalam had graced the occasion and later in 2018, the centre was formally inaugurated by Sri K T Rama Rao. The centre received significant financial support from Hyderabad based technology corporation, Cyient. The centre has produced many award winning innovations including the Pediatric Perimeter – the patented, breakthrough device that tests the visual field in babies.
- LVPEI-BostonSight Lens Manufacturing Lab: To provide affordable, effective and customized speciality contact lenses – Scleral Lenses – to patients with complex ocular surface disorders, a state-of-the-art LVPEI BostonSight Lens Manufacturing Lab has been set up at LVPEI’s Kismaptur campus. It is the only facility in India and the second facility in the world after BostonSight to manufacture these speciality lenses.
- Healthcare Incubation Centre: Supported by BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) under their BioNEST Scheme, the Healthcare Incubator at LVPEI is the only incubator in the country in a hospital set-up providing end-to-end support to medical innovators to incubate their ideas to create an impact. The centre aims to help start-ups, SMEs (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises), research institutes and hospitals create viable and scalable products and services, focusing on patient safety and higher compliance with regulatory standards.