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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 20:42 GMT 21:42 UK
New camera could stop blindness
A Gloucestershire doctor could help save the sight of adults with diabetes or glaucoma after inventing a unique spectral imaging camera.

The camera, invented by Prof Andy McNaughts, is a non-invasive procedure which measures oxygen levels in the back of the retina.

It is being developed for commercial use after a 500,000 grant from the Department of Trade and Industry.

A prototype is already being used at Cheltenham General Hospital.

Prof McNaught, a consultant surgeon at Cheltenham General Hospital, said: "There isn't anything like it at the moment worldwide.

"It will be a welcome piece of equipment for ophthalmologists across the country."

Safe investigation

At present, patients who need the circulation of the eye measured are injected with a fluorescent dye which can cause allergic reactions.

Prof McNaught said the camera provides doctors with "more accurate information and the option to treat the affected eyes quickly, thus ultimately preventing blindness".

The inspiration for the camera, which uses military technology, came after a chance meeting with Dr Andy Harvey, a military scientist.

A consortium including the Department of Trade and Industry, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and a manufacturer of conventional retinal cameras has now been established.

The initial funding of 80,000 for the project was provided by Gloucestershire Eye Therapy Trust.

Currently more than two million people in the UK are known to have diabetes and 300,000 have glaucoma.




SEE ALSO
Early warning hope for diabetes
14 Jun 06 |  Health
Experts closer to glaucoma cure
27 Dec 05 |  Merseyside

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