According to the International Diabetes Federation ( IDF), one in five people between the ages of 20 and 79 in the UAE have type 2 diabetes. In 2015, over 1 million residents with diabetes were living in the UAE, estimated the researchers. By 2040, their number will increase to 2.2 million. The leading factors for the worrying results are the rapid economic growth, sedentary lifestyle, and the unhealthy diet.
Diabetic retinopathy or the diabetic eye disease is one of the most frequent complications related to diabetes. The high blood sugar levels cause progressive damage to the retina which may lead to blindness. The Dubai Accelerators which connects the world’s most innovative technology companies with leading government organizations to create solutions found a way to combat the worrying trend.
Earlier this year, it started working with Photothera Labs. The Prague-based startup develops a light therapy using electroluminescence. The innovative technology can be widely used in Ophthalmology to treat patients with diabetes who are at a risk of vision loss. The company launches LucisDIA, a sleep mask for diabetes patients, the first of its kind in the UAE.
The clinical trials have already started under the supervision of Dubai Health Authority. The ophthalmology department at Dubai Hospital, led by Dr. Patricio Lorenzo, the head of the department, hosts the trials.
Pavel Benes, CTO of Photothera Labs commented:
The new medical device will make the UAE, the first foreign country where this medical device will be helping people with diabetic retinopathy. There is no other medical device based on phototherapy treatment for diabetic retinopathy patients in the UAE or elsewhere in the world.
The team will release the first results of the trials in December and will apply for registration at the Ministry of Health and Prevention. The experts expect that LucisDIA will be available to the UAE market by mid-2018.