24 Good Businesses 2012

Mission Vision

Bengaluru-based Forus is making eyecare accessible in rural areas with its portable, cost- effective device 

NILOPTAL BARUAH

Manoj Verma of Rampur Maniharan, a small town in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district, found his vision blurring. A gradual deterioration in his ability to see left him frightened and sleepless with worry. In all his anxiety, the 42-year-old never imagined that his problem would be solved by a specialised doctor in Delhi. The beleaguered Verma was suffering from diabetic retinopathy, one of the leading causes of partial or total loss of vision, but postponed going to even the local eye clinics because the dilation of pupils before an ophthalmic examination would force him to miss a day’s work. Then Verma heard about the new eye hospital in Rampur — they could detect the cause of his problem within minutes, and prescribe medicine the very next day, so he wouldn’t have to compromise on his daily wage.

Could he really hope? Indeed, he could. Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital in Daryaganj, Delhi, which set up its satellite clinic in Rampur Maniharan in 2010, is using 3nethra, a device developed by Bengaluru-based Forus Health. 3nethra is a pre-screening ophthalmic device that diagnoses all eye-related problems, including refractive errors, by scanning both the anterior and posterior segments of the eye in five minutes, without dilation. Verma was grateful. His digital report was forwarded to the doctors at Shroff in December 2011, and he escaped almost certain blindness narrowly and providentially. 

Down south, in Karnataka’s Tumkur district, where the high content of fluoride and minerals in the soil cause cataracts in the eyes of 5-6 year-old children, 3nethra is a boon. The Sree Sharada Devi Eye Hospital has installed the device in a mobile van, which travels through the district and screens up to 200 people ever

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