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A Centre for Eye Health Innovation Opens at L V Prasad Eye Institute

L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) is pleased to announce the formal opening of their innovation centre, the Srujana Centre for Innovation, at a new facility. Sri K T Rama Rao, Hon’ble Minister for IT, Industries,MA & UD, NRI Affairs, Telangana, was the Guest of Honour at the launch event. Sri B V R Mohan Reddy, Founder and Executive Chairman, Client, and Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT-Hyderabad was the Chief Guest.

The Srujana Center for Innovation is located at level one of the Gullapalli Pratibha Rao building at LVPEI’s Kallam Anji Reddy Campus, where clinicians and researchers can readily interact with innovators. This centre is the result of a unique collaborative program between the L V Prasad Eye Institute and the Emerging Worlds special interest group (SIG) at the MIT Media Lab in the US.

The purpose of the centre is to address the most pressing challenges in ophthalmology and vision science. The centre is a platform for engineers, medical professionals, designers, technology aficionados, innovators and big dreamers to build the next generation of eye care technologies with potential to help billions of people in India and worldwide.

L V Prasad Eye Institute has been the home of many innovations in the areas of eye care delivery, biology of the eye, surgical techniques, eye banking and children’s eye health among many others over the years. All the innovation at LVPEI is now brought under the umbrella of SRUJANA. The latest in this journey is the Technology division of Srujana. This is involved in bridging the gap between the clinical skills and technology in diagnosing and treating eye conditions, with the vision of giving the benefits of the best technology to the most needy. We make cutting-edge technology simpler, more accessible and affordable. This means novel, out-of-the-box technology solutions that are unique to a developing nation’s ecosystem. This component of the Institute adds another dimension to our efforts in combating needless blindness and giving those with irreversible blindness an opportunity to realize their full potential,” said Dr. Gullapalli N. Rao, Founder-Chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute. Having this centre on the premises of L V Prasad Eye Institute fulfills the mission of the Institute to spur the latest technologies to cure preventable blindness and provide vision for all.

Core to the centre is the LVP MITra platform, which embodies the collaboration between LVPEI and the MIT Media Lab. This collaboration began in 2013 with the intent to bring together the world’s best clinicians and engineers to create award-winning cost-effective solutions, which could impact 5 billion people worldwide. LVP MITra innovators generate some of the most disruptive ideas for screening refractive errors, visual fields in children, pupillary responses in cases of neurological diseases, and diabetic retinopathy.

Innovators in the LVP MITra program are selected from a large pool of qualified applicants. They design solutions in context, working side-by-side with patients and physicians. It’s a winning combination. L V Prasad Eye Institute focuses on cutting-edge technology for early diagnosis, efficient treatment, and management of eye pathologies. The MIT Media Lab promotes a unique “antidisciplinary culture” that encourages scientists to create disruptive technologies that happen at the edges, by looking beyond the obvious to ask questions not yet asked–questions whose answers could radically improve the way people live, learn, express themselves, work, and play. The result is a formidable team.

“Our innovation hub has provided infrastructural support to students who sincerely want to pursue their ideas, especially in ophthalmology and related fields. Following a rigorous screening, we invite students to come and work on their individual pursuits with full infrastructural support in terms of equipment, consumables, technical guidance and domain knowledge,” said Dr. Virender Sangwan, Director– Srujana Center for Innovation, and Paul Dubord Chair in Cornea.

For several months, LVP MITra innovators work on their solutions at the Srujana Center for Innovation. “After the in-house evaluation, if a product is considered suitable, support for creating a business model and intellectual property shall be provided to the inventors. In some cases the ideas and projects are not commercialized. The innovation centre helps the innovators to understand the medical science and improve their skills so that they can be better professionals. We have developed a hub where people can come and work with a free and open mind,” said Ramesh Raskar, Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT Media Lab. The LVP MITra program motivates young people to play a role in making healthcare affordable. It is a platform to ideate and create solutions to enable all to see.

About L V Prasad Eye Institute

The L V Prasad Eye Institute provides high quality comprehensive eye care to all people; provides sight enhancement and rehabilitation services at the Institute and through its rural eye health network; offers professional ophthalmic training at all levels; and conducts cutting‐edge eye care research. The Institute is a World Health Organization (WHO) Centre for the Prevention of Blindness and a Global Resource Centre for VISION 2020, a worldwide initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness led by WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. For further information, visit the Institute’s website –www.lvpei.org

For more information on the LVP-MITRA Program at the LVPEI Innovation Center, visit www.lvpmitra.com

About MIT Emerging Worlds

Emerging Worlds: Innovating for Billions is an MIT Media Lab special interest group. It is a unique, bottom-up co-innovation platform designed for addressing grand challenges in emerging economies. We foster innovation hubs in collaboration with key stakeholders in industry, academia and government. We address themes across many sectors, including food and agriculture, financial inclusion, energy and water, health and wellness, education, housing and transportation. Using digital technologies such as machine learning, Internet of Things, and mobile devices, we can leapfrog. We are solving billion dollar problems that can impact a billion lives. For more information on the MIT Media Lab: http://media.mit.edu

For more information on Emerging Worlds, visit www.mitemergingworlds.com

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