Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of treatable blindness and severe visual impairment, especially affecting people aged 50 or over. They are a particularly serious problem in India, and studies have shown that about 4.8 million people become blind due to cataracts each year. Unfortunately, India has an insufficient number of cataract screening centers, and many elderly people in India find it difficult to travel to be tested. As a result, many cataract cases are not detected in time.
To address this problem, a team in PwC India, worked with a client and developed an AI solution which was integrated with the client's smartphone application. The solution can detect the presence of a cataract by analyzing the picture of an eye captured using phone camera. The app then alerts the user if a cataract has been found. It is convenient for any volunteer with a smartphone to use this application for door-to-door screening of the elderly. People who are found to have advanced cataracts can then be referred to local health officials for further treatment. The development and implementation of our smartphone-based cataract detection solution involved interdisciplinary collaboration between medical professionals, engineers and researchers. Further, the solution underwent rigorous testing and validation to ensure its safety, reliability and effectiveness.