The Canadian company DIAGNOS is excited to announce its "computer assisted retinal analysis" (CARA) technology to the world.
Scientists believe this new computer software can help countless people who develop blindness due to Type 2 diabetes.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this story is that the developer of this technology was originally a miner. However, once one knows more about the nature of mining, it becomes quite clear why a miner would be able to think up the CARA software.
Miners are tasked with drilling many holes in their quest for a "big discovery." Every drill sample made by a miner has to be rigorously analyzed by a computer system nowadays. Just like measuring the holes in a cave, the CARA system was developed to pinpoint changes in a person's retinae before they lead to blindness and communicate these changes to the doctor conducting the scan.
The CARA system couldn't come at a better time. Current estimates show that about 4 million people in the UK have some form of diabetes, which means they are also at risk of developing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis literally means the "hardening of the arteries." Once arteries begin to harden, they make it more difficult for fresh blood to get to the eyes' retinae. If the atherosclerosis process is not caught in time, it could lead to permanent blindness.
Thankfully, each DIAGNOS computer with the updated CARA software can screen over 1,000 patients a day without any issues. DIAGNOS's current saying is "beat it in a blink," referring to the company's camera systems that take a photo of a person's retinae within a few seconds. These pictures allow doctors to see clearly if the arteries or veins in the back of the eye are clogged up due to Type 2 diabetes.
The workers at DIAGNOS hope to spread the CARA platform around the world as soon as possible. One country very interested in the CARA software is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Members of the UAE's Ministry of Health have told reporters they believe the CARA software can make a huge "positive difference" in the lives of their citizens.
DIAGNOS has experimented with putting the CARA software in moving vehicles and bringing it to patients around the world. These "CARA-vans" are now going around countries like Canada, Poland, Turkey, India, and Mexico. DIAGNOS publishes all of their "CARA-van" locations on a its official website.
Early detection of atherosclerosis can make all the difference in a diabetic's life. It's now estimated that early detection can prevent between 85-95 percent of blindness cases.
Diabetic retinopathy is currently the leading cause of blindness in many countries around the world. DIAGNOS hopes its CARA system can reverse this frightening trend by giving millions of people free professional retinal scans as soon as possible.
DIAGNOS's main headquarters is in the municipality of Brossard, Québec. Brossard is considered to be a part of the Greater Montréal area.