The surface of the eye – the clear cornea and white conjunctiva- – is permanently covered by a liquid layer; the tear film. A stable tear film protects the cornea and means we can see clearly and comfortably. The tear film sits on top of the cornea of the eye, helping to keep sight clear and the eyes comfortable. Tear film instability is surprisingly common, causing unpleasant symptoms that patients rate as severe as angina. Tear film instability is responsible for 1% of all GP attendances and 18% of new eye referrals to hospital. It cost the NHS the same as cataract surgery each year. In 2012 it cost $2.1bn in the US.
Developed by a family run company, including a consultant eye surgeon, Eye Calm offers an online clinical diagnostic support, to cause a cultural change; to promote patient self management and self care. Eye Calm accurately recognises the symptoms of tear-film instability and algorithm-based diagnosis and treatment recommendations improves patient experience and reduces the demand on NHS services.
The company has had support from the cluster in bringing the product to market and understanding the tech landscape, while bringing health expertise and experience.
Eye Calm were one of several eHealth Cluster members who took part in the cluster-managed Digital Space at Ilinks 2016, where they were given the opportunity to tell an audience of senior NHS professionals about their work, and how they are integrating digital technology with health and social care services.