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Preventing diabetic sight loss with new technology

Back of the eye affected by diabetesThe problem: There are around 4 million people with diabetes in the UK and more than 415 million worldwide with the figure rising rapidly. They are all at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and losing their sight, with very few treatment options available.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a form of imaging which has already helped us to make massive strides in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as diabetic retinopathy. However, with further technical advances OCT could do so much more, and avoid problems associated with unintentional eye movements and the respiratory movements of patients.

Our solution: to develop a new ‘single shot’ 3D OCT imaging device which will offer unprecedented measuring sensitivity. Patients will benefit from earlier diagnosis and better treatment. This will be a major technological revolution from which millions of people will benefit.

Wider benefits: the technology can be used to diagnose other eye diseases such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration and to gain a better understanding of blood flow and the electrics of the retina.

Cost: £460,000 over three years

Why this is vital:

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