Our Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences received with great gratitude and honor 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.
Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes irreversibly damaged. Glaucoma leads to irreversible visual loss, if it is not diagnosed and treated early. In Hong Kong, about 25% of irreversible blindness is caused by glaucoma, and there are around 100,000 glaucoma patients suffering from various levels of visual disability.
For over two decades, our Department has made important and pioneering contributions to the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Prof. Clement Tham, our Department Chairman, elaborates, “These contributions 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.”
Amongst its many programs, 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. Dr. Carol Cheung remarked, “Over last few years, we have developed state-of-the-art AI-based technologies in Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) for an automated detection of people at risk of multiple eye diseases, including glaucoma. Currently, one of our glaucoma research focus 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 big societal impact by improving quality and efficiency of the clinical services in Hong Kong and the surrounding regions.”
In coming years, the Department aims to develop the “Lam Kin Chung . Jet King-Shing Ho Glaucoma Treatment and Research Centre” into a world-renowned centre for state-of-the-art research programs, comprehensive training & educational programs, and world-class clinical services, to fight glaucoma. We will strive to promote a greater awareness and understanding of glaucoma in our public community, as well as to advise policymakers on the best and most cost-effective approach to eliminate glaucoma blindness based on data from our glaucoma research programs.
These important targets are now within reach. Once again, our most heartfelt thanks to the generous donation from Dr LAM Kin Chung and Dr HO Hau Wong!
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