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140 million people worldwide have Glaucoma or Ocular Hypertension with 80% of these patients in emerging economies. Glaucoma is incurable but with treatment its progression can be delayed.
The most popular treatment for Glaucoma is eye drops that need to be taken every day multiple times for the rest of a person’s life. This treatment has poor compliance and typically 50% of patients stop taking eye drops after one year. Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is another treatment – a procedure that is invasive and requires advanced skill and precision to deliver hundred separate laser shots to the eye for at least five minutes. Because of the precision needed, SLT is not available as a first line of treatment for all Glaucoma patients.
Belkin Vision, an Israeli startup is working on making fast, non-invasive treatment accessible for everyone by automating the SLT procedure. Direct SLT, invented by Belkin, requires no direct contact with the eye. An advanced algorithm locates the treatment area and with just a press of a button, 120 lasers are delivered to the eye at the speed of light. As a result, the patient is in and out within minutes. Also, because of no contact involved, it becomes much more desirable, especially during times like Coronavirus pandemic.
Because DSLT does not require advanced skills, it can also be delivered by cataract surgeons, general ophthalmologists and optometrists, allowing a larger population to get this treatment right away.