Year/Course: 2022-2023, Easter 2023
Project type: Development

Inventor: Dr. Brandon Smith, Clinical Neuroscience
Mentor: TBC

Direct ophthalmoscopy is an indispensable diagnostic tool to evaluate adults and children with suspected intracranial hypertension. Optic nerve oedema (papilloedema) has been well defined as an objective and important sign that suggests central nervous system pathology requiring urgent evaluation with brain imaging methods. However, direct ophthalmoscopy is not always available in rural settings or in places where healthcare screening is done by non-medical personnel.

The OPTICP project is working on developing a novel device to allow automated direct ophthalmoscopy in both clinical and peripheral, non-hospital settings, supplemented by deep-learning based detection of papilloedema. The goal is to allow non-clinical and/or untrained individuals to carry out papilloedema screening, which is expected to be of particular relevance to low-resource settings where such expertise may be centralised to specialist centres.

Automated diagnosis of papilloedema could be used to guide patient management and stratify the need for brain imaging in adult and paediatric patients suspected of intracranial hypertension. An automated papilloedema detection technology could also be used by non-medical personnel conducting health visits in the community allowing for wider screening potential for the local populations without direct access to ophthalmology clinics and/or brain imaging.

The role for the i-Team is to investigate the best geographies and types of healthcare settings for such a device, so that the inventor can focus his efforts on regions where it will have the greatest impact.