CUHK Establishes Lam Kin Chung . Jet King-Shing Ho Glaucoma Treatment and Research Centre To Promote Advancement in Glaucoma Management in Hong Kong through Research and Training
The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine) has received a generous donation of HK$15 million from Dr. LAM Kin Chung and Dr. HO Hau Wong to establish the Lam Kin Chung . Jet King-Shing Ho Glaucoma Treatment and Research Centre, with the aim of advancing glaucoma management in Hong Kong through research, training, and education. Amongst its many programmes, the Centre will launch a pilot study to investigate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the detection of the disease, which aims to allow patients to receive timely evaluation by ophthalmologists and to reduce their risk of glaucoma blindness.
Glaucoma is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in Hong Kong
Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes irreversibly damaged, often due to a buildup of pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma can lead to irreversible loss of vision, if it is not diagnosed and treated early. In Hong Kong, about 25% of irreversible blindness is caused by glaucoma, and there are about 100,000 glaucoma patients suffering from various levels of visual disability.
Modern treatments can only slow down or stop further visual loss from glaucoma, but cannot recover any vision that is already lost. Early and accurate diagnosis of glaucoma amongst people at risk is critical to prevent even more visual loss from glaucoma.
Professor Clement C.Y. THAM, Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, CU Medicine, remarked, “Over the past two decades, our department has made important and pioneering contributions to the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma These include advancing the understanding of the pathological basis of glaucoma through genetic studies, achieving earlier diagnosis of glaucoma and detection of progression through advanced imaging technologies, improving the management of glaucoma through extensive clinical trials on both laser and surgical treatment options, and exploring the possibility of regenerating retinal ganglion cells through sophisticated laboratory research. With the tremendous support from Dr. LAM Kin Chung and Dr. HO Hau Wong, our newly established glaucoma treatment and research centre is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to provide advanced training and educational programmes for healthcare professionals, as well as world-leading clinical services for glaucoma patients.”
To investigate the use of AI in glaucoma detection
The Lam Kin Chung . Jet King-Shing Ho Glaucoma Treatment and Research Centre will also help promote research programmes that advance the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, bringing substantial benefits to communities both in Hong Kong and the surrounding regions. Glaucoma detection with AI is one of the pilot studies of the Centre.
Dr. Carol Y.L. CHEUNG, Associate Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, CU Medicine, remarked, “Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is widely used for glaucoma detection and management. OCT is proposed for use in glaucoma screening. However, the interpretation of OCT images still requires expertise from experienced ophthalmologists. Glaucoma screening using OCT is thus prohibitively cost-ineffective, and also practically impossible under present circumstances due to the shortage of experienced expert manpower. Over the last few years, we have developed state-of-the-art AI-based technologies in OCT for an automated detection of people at risk of multiple eye diseases, including glaucoma. Currently, one focus of our glaucoma research is to translate our AI-related research from “bench” to “bedside”. We are collaborating with Hong Kong Eye Hospital to conduct a pilot study with an aim to deploy the AI algorithm to enhance the screening and triaging of suspected glaucoma patients for timely evaluation by ophthalmologists and early treatment for those confirmed glaucoma patients. This will bring forth a big societal impact by improving quality and efficiency of the clinical services in Hong Kong and the surrounding regions.”