BENGALURU: In a bid to detect amblyobia faster in children, 16-year-old Vrishab Krishna and his 18-year-old brother, Biswesh Krishna from Bengaluru, have come out with an app called Kanna. Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a visual development disorder where a person slowly loses vision leading to partial blindness. It affects almost 16 million children in India and over 103 million children from all over the world.
Vrishab used to suffer amblyopia as a child, and would have difficulty while climbing down stairs. Even while playing, he would have difficulty catching the ball. But Vrishab was lucky since his mother noticed his problem when he was four years old and got him tested. The diagnosis revealed his lazy eye condition. Having received treatment in time, Vrishab has been able to see perfectly with both his eyes.
A year ago, the duo decided to study amblyopia and come up with a solution. As they worked on the project, they came up with an app wherein a child affected with the condition will just have to click two images and upload it onto the app to determine whether they have a lazy eye or not. “We wanted an accessible way to help people figure out if they have the condition. And what better than a smart phone which everyone uses,” said Vrishab.
Using patent pending image processing and machine learning algorithms, they calculate one’s risk of having a lazy eye. “After testing, we found that our algorithm to calculate amblyopia is accurate. The child will have to click one image in low light and the other in ambient light. After uploading the images, the results will be out immediately,” said Vrishab.
The duo even reached out to Sankara Eye Hospital and performed a pilot test, and the hospital is now using the device. “Three years ago, we had carried out a survey on amblyopia in Bengaluru and it showed that six percent of children in the city were at a risk. Detecting amblyopia during the critical period – that is before the age of eight – is crucial as complete treatment can be done. After that, it gets difficult as they don’t respond to visual acuity tests,” said Dr Kaushik Murali, Medical President, Quality & Education, Sankara Eye Hospital.
He added with this app will be useful for many. “Since this technique only requires access to a smartphone camera, it can be used both in rural and urban areas, and even allows for screening by untrained people,” Dr Murali added.The app is under clinical validation at Sankara Eye Hospital.
What is amblyopia?
Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a visual development disorder where a person slowly loses vision leading to partial blindness. It affects almost 16 million children in India and over 103 million children all over the world.