Shardul Nautiyal;; April 2005
Spurred by research in developing artificial retina in the western countries, Mumbai-based Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital (A.J.E.H.) may be designing an indigenous artificial model of retina. To launch the artificial retinal prosthesis project, the hospital will apply to the Department of Science and Technology (D.S.T.), which will allow it to do research on retina and related eye disorders and design the indigenous model.
"Developing an indigenous model of retina will help because importing it from foreign countries is expensive. The indigenous model would be affordable and cost-effective to the Indian patient," said Dr. S. Natarajan, Chairman and Medical Director.
Artificial retinal prosthesis is a latest therapeutic technique for patients with retinal degeneration or retinal damage. Experts say that this is an upcoming area of research in both developing and developed countries; finding an alternative for the damaged retina, or retinal prosthesis, would be a boon for blind people globally.
"Newly emerging technologies such as artificial retinal prosthesis would have a crucial impact on future eye operations," says Dr. Natarajan, adding, "The retinal prosthesis shall be commercially available in the developed countries in a few years. If Indian products have to be competitive worldwide and if we aim to earn substantially through value added products like retinal prosthesis in the field of eye care services, we have to master these technologies."
According to the news report, A.J.E.H. would be working jointly working with bio-medical engineers and neuro-physicists from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, members of National Association of Blind, even veterinary surgeons, to make retinal prosthesis project a reality.