Mashelkar Foundation



Shyam Vasudev, Forus Health

For 3nethra

The Problem

Visual impairment is not only a serious health problem, but also a personal, social and economic problem for those affected by it. International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) states that about 2.2 billion people suffer from visual impairment globally. Shockingly, one billion of these are entirely preventable or treatable!

The Motivation

When Dr. Shyam Vasudev visited Aravind Eye Hospital to meet the famous founder Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy, known popularly as Dr. V, he did not know that it would change his life. During his visit, Shyam found that more than 90% of eye care equipment were not affordable for hospitals in India – they were imported, not portable and needed lot of power and expertise. It would take 3-4 hours to perform all the tests and require some eye drops to be administered by a nurse. The visit was an eye-opener for him and he decided to do something that would enable the wonderful doctors at Aravind Eye Care to deliver better eye care to people in the remotest corner of the country.

The Inclusive Innovation

3nethra is an intelligent, portable, non-invasive, non-mydriatic, low cost device that helps in pre-screening of five major eye diseases, namely, cataract, diabetic retina, glaucoma, and cornea & refractive index with powerful inbuilt auto detection software. 3Nethra is a digital fundus camera, equipped with an efficient workflow to capture high-resolution images of the human eye through a quick focus mechanism that reduces the examination time. It costs one sixth of the current cost of collective pre-screening devices and can be operated by a minimally trained operator. The solution has a value proposition for everyone in the entire eye care value chain, namely, the elderly blind, doctors, eye hospitals, rural entrepreneurs and pharmaceutical companies.

The Impact

They currently have 4000+ devices in place in 25+ countries, and have screened more than 5 million people, 80% of them in India. Initially, they had only one product 3nethra classic, which was used for adults and children above 10 years of age. Now, they also have 3nethra Kido, Neo and Flora and tele-ophthalmology software. With their Innovation 3nethra Neo, they are in a position to screen all preterm babies born at the SNICUs in Karnataka and Kerala. 3nethra Classic is also available for sale in the US, Canada, and Europe.

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Shyam Vasudev

Shyam is the Founder and Director of Forus Health and aims to make healthcare affordable for all. He is an expert in Real Time Embedded Systems and has published around 40 papers.