Narayana Nethralaya Foundation gets Govt. of India Innovator Award

Bengaluru: Narayana Nethralaya Foundation was awarded the “Innovator Award 2018” under the category “Best Innovation in HealthCare” by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India at the 7th Innovators Conclave in New Delhi.

The Award was in recognition of their contribution to Project “ShishuNethra – Preventing Blindness in Infants” which led to the invention of “3Nethra Neo” – an indigenous, portable, wide-field retinal camera that can be used in rural areas to screen for blinding conditions like Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) that affect babies. The device is one-fifth the cost of existing solutions and has unique international patents to its credit.

Expressing his vision, Dr. Bhujang Shetty, Managing Trustee, Narayana Nethralaya Foundation and Chairman Narayana Nethralaya, said,“Enhancing access to quality eye care and early detection of eye related ailments in the rural geographies of the country has always been one of our vision parameters. We are absolutely delighted to have been able to contribute towards ShishuNetra. This camera has the potential of being used in the universal screening program that the Government has proposed. With over 2.7 crore babies being born annually in our country, the potential is limitless. Our focus now will be on mobilizing this technology through KIDROP to screen Neonatal Intensive Care units across Indian states.” 

Prof. Anand Vinekar, Program Director of KIDROP, who was Principal Investigator in the invention, said,“We are delighted to be chosen as the clinical partners to develop this device with Forus Health, Bangalore and IIT- Madras, Chennai. After proving safety in the lab, we conducted an extensive field trial in over 1500 babies and proved its superior efficacy in diagnosing several retinal conditions. The device is equipped with telemedicine capabilities and we have already started using it regularly in our KIDROP program to screen over 120 Neonatal intensive care units across the state”.

Expressing his delight Mr. K Chandrashekhar, CEO of Forus Health said,“We are delighted that our innovation has had the impact to prevent blindness in infants who would have otherwise not had access to eye care. This award has inspired us to continue to develop niche products that are ‘Made In India’ but are ready for the world. The Neo has already found users in Europe, America, Canada and Asia making this a global device”.

‘Excellence in Teaching’ Award for Narayana Nethralaya

Narayana Nethralaya also received the ‘Excellence in Teaching’ award in recognition to their academic contribution to the DNB programme for NBE accredited Institutions, 2018 from the Honorable, Governor of Karnataka, Shri VajubhaiVala,at J.N.Tata Auditorium, Indian Institute of Science (IISc)Bangalore.

Receiving the award Dr. Naren Shetty, Vice Chairman, Narayana Nethralaya said, “Academic and research contributions are the fulcrum for setting new benchmarks and nurturing aspiring talents. At Narayana Nethralaya we consider such roles as one of our fundamental responsibilities to the society.”

“We have been conducting DNB ophthalmology course for the past 16 years and 15 batches have finished so far. We have trained over 70 ophthalmologists from all over the country through the programme. We have also been organizing regular medical education programmes with eminent international and national faculty. Nurturing aspiring Doctors through such academic interfaces is essential for a continuous improvement in eye care quality across the country and we will continue our efforts in this regard” added Dr. Naren Shetty.

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