Sankara Nethralaya Chairman Emeritus, Dr. SS Badrinath, who recently attended the first-ever Alumni Day held at Indian Institute of Technology Madras on December 26, 2009 shared with the gathering the phenomenal growth Nethralaya has experienced since its inception in 1978.
Dr. Badrinath also spoke on the IT initiatives undertaken by the institute and its impact on health care. “Many medical practitioners may not find it feasible to invest in software to maintain e-records and by accessing our National Knowledge Network, doctors nationwide can switch to the technology,” he said. Medical practitioners across the country, he added, could maintain electronic records of every patient for as less as Rs. 5.
Sankara Nethralaya, in collaboration with IIT Madras, has completed two projects and has several more which are being undertaken including one on teleophthalmology via 3G spectrum instead of the existing satellite-based service, for faster connectivity.
Dr. Badrinath called for better electronic protocol that can be achieved by offering enhanced training. “We are thinking of starting a school of scientific dispensing of glasses. Uncorrected refraction can cause blindness in 6% of the population and precision prescription is the key.”
He also touched upon the key areas— e-learning, electronic medical records, teleophthalmology — through which Sankara Nethralaya is striving to serve the community in the coming decades.