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​Vision matters: Glaucoma AI-ROTA Screening Project for 50+

Why do we provide Glaucoma AI-ROTA Screening Project? 為甚麼我們提供青光眼人工智能ROTA篩查計劃

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. A pioneering study led by the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Hong Kong has discovered that 72% of eyes from patients with early glaucoma had axonal fibre loss (i.e., nerve degeneration) at the fovea and the macula – a small area in the centre of the retina responsible for the central vision.[1] The results challenge the conventional understanding that glaucoma compromises the side vision without affecting the central vision in the early stages. Individuals with glaucoma who also have macular damage require prompt detection and aggressive treatment, as they face a higher risk of losing their central vision compared to those without such damage. In view of this, Orbis collaborated with the Department of Ophthalmology at HKUMed to launch Vision matters: Glaucoma AI-ROTA Screening Project for 50+ (the “Project”). It offers free comprehensive eye screening services to 3000+ randomly selected Hong Kong residents aged 50 or above who live in public rental housing.

青光眼是不可逆轉失明的首要原因。由香港大學眼科學系領導的開創性研究發現,72%早期青光眼患者的眼睛在黃斑和視網膜中央區域(即負責中央視力的區域)有軸突纖維損失(即神經退化)。[1] 這項研究結果挑戰了傳統認知,即青光眼在早期階段只會損害側視力,而不會影響中央視力。具有青光眼和黃斑點受損的患者需要及時檢測和積極治療,因為與沒有黃斑點受損的人相比,他們面臨著更高的失去中央視力的風險。有見及此,奧比斯聯合港大醫學院眼科學系並肩推出「視」不宜遲——青光眼人工智能ROTA篩查計劃,為逾3000名隨機選擇年滿50歲的香港永久居民公屋住戶提供免費全面眼科檢查服務。

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Feature of Project 計劃特色

Macular damage in glaucoma is difficult to detect using conventional clinical tests. What sets this Project apart is the deployment of ROTA – a patented technology developed by a research team at HKUMed.2 This method enables direct visualization of the nerve fibres on the retina in high resolution using standard optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans, significantly improving the accuracy of early detection of optic nerve damage within and beyond the macula caused by glaucoma. ROTA increases the diagnostic sensitivity by up to 30% for detection of early glaucoma compared with the current standard using the OCT retinal nerve fibre layer thickness analysis.  The study results are featured in two leading academic journals – Nature Biomedical Engineering and Ophthalmology.[1],[2] The completion of the Project will identify undiagnosed patients with glaucoma, and inform the prevalence and risk factors of glaucoma in Hong Kong. In addition, ROTA is expected to benefit patients on both regional and international levels, as two multinational OCT manufacturers have obtained licenses to implement ROTA into their clinical OCT systems across the globe.  

青光眼中的黃斑受損難以通過傳統的臨床診斷方法檢測出來。這個計劃的獨特之處在於採用ROTA技術 ── 一種由港大醫學院眼科學系的研究團隊帶領開發的專利技術。[2]透過使用標準的光學相干斷層掃描(OCT),ROTA以高解像度直接觀察視網膜上的神經纖維,顯著地提高了早期檢測青光眼所造成視神經損傷的準確性,包括在黃斑區以內和外的受損。相比於使用OCT網膜神經纖維層厚度分析的現有標準,ROTA可以將早期青光眼的診斷敏感度提高多達30%。研究結果已刊登在兩本領導性的學術期刊上——《自然生物醫學工程》和《眼科學》。 [1],[2] 該項目的完成將有助於識別未被診斷出的青光眼患者,並了解香港青光眼的患病率和風險因素。此外,兩家跨國 OCT 製造商已獲得專利技術應用許可,將ROTA應用到臨床 OCT 系統的,因此預計 ROTA 可以使世界各地的青光眼患者受益。

  1. Leung CKS, Guo PY, Lam AKN. Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Optical Texture Analysis: Involvement of the Papillomacular Bundle and Papillofoveal Bundle in Early Glaucoma. Ophthalmology. 2022;129:1043-1055.

  2. Leung CKS, Lam AKN, Weinreb RN, Garway-Heath DF, Yu M, Guo PY, Chiu VSM, Wan KHN, Wong M, Wu KZ, Cheung CYL, Lin C, Chan CKM, Chan NCY, Kam KW, Lai GWK. Diagnostic assessment of glaucoma and non-glaucomatous optic neuropathies via optical texture analysis of the retinal nerve fibre layer. Nat Biomed Eng. 2022;6:593-604.

Highlights of Launch Ceremony

Annual Eye Check-ups Recommended for High-Risk Glaucoma Patients Aged 50 and Above
50歲以上患者屬高危群組 建議每年檢查眼睛

Glaucoma is a chronic, degenerative disease of the optic nerve which leads to progressive visual field loss and ultimately blindness. The risk factors for glaucoma include increased age, elevated intraocular pressure, family history, and high myopia or hyperopia. Additionally, individuals suffering from diabetes, heart conditions, autoimmune disorders, or those who regularly use steroids are also susceptible to developing secondary glaucoma. As vision loss in glaucoma is irreversible, Orbis and the Department of Ophthalmology advise individuals aged 50 and above to undertake annual comprehensive eye examinations to detect glaucoma and other age-related eye diseases.


About the Project

Orbis and the HKU Department of Ophthalmology have collaborated to launch the Vision Matters: Glaucoma AI-ROTA Screening Project for 50+. In Phase I (June 2023 to May 2024), the Project will invite 3000+ selected residents from the Southern District, Kwun Tong District, and Tai Po District for glaucoma screening at (1) HKU Eye Centre, (2) Kwun Tong District Health Centre Express, and (3) Tai Po District Health Centre Express. Invitation letters will be sent to randomly selected addresses of public rental housings. Eligible residents aged 50 and above can make appointments online with proof of address and the letter they received, with a quota of two per household. Free eye examinations will include visual acuity tests, refraction, tonometry, OCT imaging, and medical consultations with ophthalmologists. The project's unique feature is the application of ROTA, a patented technology, for detection of glaucoma in the early stages. The Project will offer referral services for necessary follow-up treatment in public or private eye clinics. Phase II will provide extra quota for Hong Kong residents from various districts in 2024. 


Professor Chak-sing Lau, Dean of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong


"For 136 years and counting, HKUMed has maintained a steadfast record of promoting and protecting health in Hong Kong and beyond. As we have seen in the recent pandemic, mutual support and concerted efforts of all stakeholders, including the government, healthcare professionals and members of the public, are crucial in keeping diseases in check. We are delighted to partner with Orbis in launching Vision Matters in order to reduce the dire impact of glaucoma."
「136 年來,港大醫學院在促進和守護本港及其他地區的健康方面一直保持著穩健的紀錄。正如我們在近年新冠疫情中所見,所有持份者包括政府、醫護人員和市民大眾的互相支持和共同努力,對控制疾病至關重要。我們很高興與奧比斯合作推出 『視』不宜遲,以減少青光眼對視力的損害。」

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