Evolution in Eye Care: Embracing Advanced Technologies

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Evolution in Eye Care: Embracing Advanced Technologies
April 11, 2024

Prof. (Dr.) Mahipal Sachdev, Chairman, Centre for Sight

Dr. Mahipal is a Padmashree awardee and an experienced owner with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & healthcare industry. He is skilled in team building, management, healthcare management, healthcare, and leadership. Strong business development professional with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) focused on Medicine and Masters in Ophthalmology (MS) from All India Institute of Medical Sciences. He engaged in a conversation with Thiruamuthan, Correspondent from India Pharma Outlook magazine to share information on recent developments in the eye care industry.

In your perspective, what is the current scenario of the eye care sector, and how is the industry adapting and responding to recent developments?

In eye care, some aspects have undergone rapid changes. It is a market that is expanding significantly. The eye care delivery market is experiencing tremendous growth. The reason the eye care market has transformed is that outcomes have significantly improved, and advanced technologies have emerged. From diagnostics to therapeutics, one can correctly visualize almost all parts of the eye. Because of this, there has been development specifically in the segment of lasers, where one can provide targeted treatment. Various kinds of lasers are available in the market today, depending on the specific modes of treatment. During diagnosis, one can observe all parts of the eye and then treat accordingly. Even in the case of treatments for the aging population, the quality and longevity of treatments have improved. There were problems in the aging population that were deemed untreatable, but now that scenario has changed. Many conditions previously thought untreatable can now be treated, and new treatment modalities have emerged. There has been an increase in the number of eye care hospitals in the country. Overall, it can be concluded that there has been a lot of improvement in this sector, and many new technologies have come into the picture.

What recent breakthroughs are shaping the landscape of myopia control, and how are they translating into more effective treatments for patients?

Myopia is a problem where a person needs glasses for distant vision. Unfortunately, during COVID, there has been a significant spike in the number of patients suffering from myopia. It is because of the lifestyle imposed on the public due to back-to-back lockdowns in the country. Being confined at home and spending more time with the phone or in front of the screen causes stimuli that induce myopia. This has also affected children because they were made to stay indoors, where they had to study and play on smart devices. To maintain a healthy routine for the eyes, outdoor activities and exposure to sunlight are very important. All these incidents together have led to a situation where instances of myopia are increasing rapidly. In India, it is increasing by 1-2 percent every year. In Asia, countries like Singapore have made it compulsory for children to go out in the sun and perform outdoor activities so that myopia does not affect them. We can also see that countries are investing capital in improving myopia control. There has been an emergence of pharmaceutical products that can prevent myopia from occurring, and many myopia-correcting glasses have also come into the market. For people over 21 years of age, refractive surgery options have improved significantly. We have also seen improvement in the contact lens segment.

How are researchers addressing safety and efficacy concerns in the development of gene therapy treatments for inherited eye diseases?

Gene therapy can be targeted within ophthalmology to prevent disease. Problems within the eye can be targeted for treatment, and gene therapy can be introduced, which could lower the chances of inherited eye diseases. This is being implemented in several areas within ophthalmology on an experimental basis. Gene therapy can be a good solution to eye diseases because of comparatively lesser risks of systemic effects. If targeted locally, it will not enter the entire body. Short-term intervention in gene therapy for eye diseases would be required. Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems have also emerged in the eye care sector, where technologies are in place to detect diseases and abnormalities in the eyes.

Source: https://www.indiapharmaoutlook.com/

Posted By: Centre For Sight
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