HelpMeSee’s mobile app shows promise in eliminating cataract blindness


Global campaign to eliminate cataract blindness HelpMeSee has successfully tested a pre-release version of its GIS-GPS app for community mobilization. The application, currently available for Android devices, will allow community health workers to better locate patients, map the incidence of cataract blindness, and connect patients to partner specialists who can provide care. The system can define the geographic market for each clinic location and maintain epidemiologic information on the prevalence of cataract blindness. It will also integrate with the campaign’s surgical reporting system to monitor patients and validate successful outcomes.

“The HelpMeSee GIS-GPS app is an essential tool to provide the best standard of care to every cataract blind person in a community,” said Mohan Jacob Thazhathu, President & CEO of HelpMeSee. “It optimizes the efficiency of the surgical team and provides community health workers a reliable tool for patient care and follow up services.”

Health workers in rural India who tested the app found it to be much faster than current paper-based systems.HelpMeSee’s campaign team worked in close collaboration with community level surgical teams and village level health workers to test the app in rural India. Health workers found it to be much faster than current paper-based systems.

“It used to take us from 1 to 2 days,” said Meera Devi, a community worker living near Chitrakoot, India. “Now with the mobile app, the whole process is completed in 10 – 15 minutes and then we just need to click send.”

Once identified, patients are connected to nearby health facilities where they can receive Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS) to remove cataracts and implant a new, artificial lens in their eye. The app will also facilitate patient care through follow up tracking.

Developed in partnership with Calgary, Canada-based, the application enables HelpMeSee to create the first real time epidemiologic data on cataract blindness.