India An Emerging Hub for Ophthalmic Clinical Trials: In an Era of Ophthalmic Digitalisation & Workflow Efficiency

Dr. Sri Ganesh, founder and CMD of Nethradhama Super Speciality Eye Hospitals, believes that India is growing as a hotspot for ophthalmic clinical trials as eye diseases and disorders drive demand for novel drugs and equipment. He believes that there is access to extensive data and a significant number of people with eye diseases and abnormalities. This is very important for clinical trials. We also have a fully operational system in place that adheres to guidelines and best healthcare practices. He noted that there is a lot of opportunity for doing human research on ophthalmic drugs and medical devices.

“Nethradhama has taken part in key global trials. These include SMILE for hyperopia, and we were one of six sites throughout the world to perform this study,” Dr Ganesh said. He further added that Nethradhama was one of five institutions in the world to perform trials for the VISUMAX 800 and SMILE Pro to treat myopia and myopic astigmatism.

Dr Sri Ganesh added that ophthalmic digitization is revolutionising India’s eye care. Here, the majority of diagnostics and therapies are linked to a digital environment, making data transfer considerably easier. It eliminates transcribing errors, improves patient safety, and streamlines patient flow, allowing us to see more patients in less time.

Speaking about India’s emergence in the field of ophthalmology, he stated that “India is at the forefront of ophthalmology, particularly in the use of technology such as lasers and intraocular lenses. Some of the technologies were available in India before their introduction in the United States. Even at the Phaco festival last month, technologies like as STAAR’s EVO Viva presbyopia ICL for patients with extreme myopia aged 40-45 years who are looking for a suitable solution for both distance and close vision were introduced”. 

Dr. Ganesh indicated that the Femtis M plus super premium laser intraocular lens provides both distance, intermediate, and near vision, as well as good night vision without halos, following cataract surgery.

Nethradhama was one of the first to use the iStent to treat glaucoma in conjunction with cataract surgery. Patients using glaucoma drops after cataract surgery report side effects such as hyperpigmentation, increased lash development, and dry eyes. To lower intraocular pressure, an intrusive operation called a trabeculectomy was performed. Now, with the iStent, ophthalmic surgeons install two stents during cataract surgery to drain fluid from the eye and reduce pressure. Our hospital has implanted over 30 of these iStents, resulting in 90% of patients being off glaucoma medication since their ocular pressures are under control.

In this era of ophthalmic digitalization and workflow efficiency, there is an urgent need to upskill and train ophthalmologists, technicians, and optometrists on how to handle all of the latest technologies. The Bengaluru-based eye care major offers graduation and master’s degrees in optometry, as well as DNB and postdoctoral fellowships. There are also short-term training courses for advanced technology.

The future of ophthalmic treatment seems optimistic. India is at the forefront of ophthalmology expertise, and it is now exploring artificial intelligence to help pick intraocular lenses and even diagnose diabetic retinopathy. But with a population of 1.4 billion. India only has approximately 26,791 ophthalmologists. The shortage of eye specialists is worrying, especially in rural areas, because the majority of doctors are concentrated in urban areas.

Source : PharmaBiz

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