Hackathon 3.0

Aravind-Pondicherry, January 8-9

Aravind Centre for Eyecare innovations (ACEi) organised Hackathon 3.0 at Aravind-Pondicherry where young engineers and doctors and staff of Aravind were brought together to work on various problem statements and bring about innovative solutions. Though the hospital has hosted hackathons before, this is the first time doctors from different centres of Aravind collaborated with the young engineers from Atal Incubation Centre, Pondicherry Engineering College Foundation (AIC-PECF) and Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Vellore.

Mr.Sandal Kotawala, CEO – Alfaleus and an alumnus of VIT, Prof.Dr.Arulmozhivarman – VIT, Mr.Sundaramoorthy, Director and, Mr.Vishnu Vardhan CEO of AIC-PECF, helped the Aravind team coordinate with students and young entrepreneurs in making this event a huge success. The team collected nearly 100 problem statements across AECS and scrutinized all of them. Engineers along with Aravind doctors worked on 12 problem statements.  The core champions of ACEi along with a few doctors also visited the Atal Incubation Centre of PECF and witnessed a few innovations and the model and culture of AIC-PECF which could be adopted by ACEi.

Guest Lecture

Aravind-Coimbatore, December 24

A guest lecture was organised for the women employees on the topic, “Importance of women safety and self-defence”.  Ms.Sughasini IPS, Additional Superintendent of Police (ADSP), Coimbatore and Ms.Jagadevi, Sub Inspector of Police, Cybercrimes, Coimbatore gave informative lectures on the topic. Ms.Sughasini gave a rousing lecture about women empowerment, safety and self-defence. She spoke on digital crimes against women and how to stay protected.

Session on “Cybercrimes against women” was handled by Ms.Jagadevi in an interesting and lively way. Citing real-life examples of adverse happenings, she conveyed the disadvantages of unnecessary and uncontrolled use of digital media.

Hospital Day Celebration

Aravind – Salem, December 30

Aravind-Salem completed ten years of its service in restoring sight to the needy. To mark the occasion, a simple celebration was organised strictly following the COVID protocols. The programme started with a minute’s silence to mourn the demise of beloved, Mr.G.Srinivasan, one of the founding members of Aravind. Dr.B.Manohar Babu, Chief Medical Officer delivered a special lecture which was followed by cultural programmes and dinner.

Freshers’ Day

Aravind-Tirunelveli, December 15

Freshers’ day for the newly joined allied ophthalmic personnel was celebrated at Aravind-Tirunelveli. Dr.Chandra Kumar, Project Director – District Blindness Control Society (DBCS) was the chief guest for the function.  An exhibition was organised by the trainees which had various models and charts related to eye care and eye diseases. The event was made lively with a few cultural programmes like Bharathanatiyam , Karagattam, and folk dance. Two of the new recruits spoke about Dr.V. and Mr.G.Srinivasan. Dr.R.Ramakrishnan, Advisor, Aravind-Tirunelveli and Dr.Meenakshi, Chief Medical Officer gave inspiring talks. Aravind-Tirunelveli, December 15.

Workshop for Vision Centre Staff

December 19

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging as a major tool in diagnosing diseases, be it diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry in collaboration with Remidio Innovative Solutions, Bangalore, India are working on developing an AI tool for early detection of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy using a smartphone based, slit lamp mounted fundus-on-phone (FOP) camera. The project is titled, Medios AI and is funded by Remidio and Aravind – Pondicherry. The project aims to train this new AI to pick up glaucoma/disc suspects or diabetic retinopathy cases from the fundus images captured in the vision centres of Aravind- Pondicherry. It is expected that once the AI is trained, it will be easier to diagnose cases and refer to the base hospital. This will reduce unnecessary referrals more so in times like this pandemic, reduce patients’ travel expenditure yet give them the correct treatment and guidance and reduce doctors’ workload.

To educate, encourage and convey the purpose of the project, the Project Department, conducted a training session for the staff of its 14 vision centres. The key persons for this project are Dr.Swati Upadhyaya, Glaucoma Consultant and Dr.Manavi D Sindal, Head, Vitreoretina Services. The study needs good undilated fundus images, capturing of which requires skill and little training.

Ms.Shreya and Mr.Vignesh from Remidio Innovative Solutions were invited to give hands-on training with Remidio FOP camera. They shared tips to take good undilated fundus images, enlightened the staff on the importance of lighting while taking an image, walked them through the Remidio dashboard and checked for software updates. Ms.Jayashree, Project Coordinator explained the importance of the project, trained them on protocol, workflow and data entry on Google Sheets. In the end, a project-related quiz was conducted and the winners were awarded.

IOL Loading Workshop

Aravind-Madurai, December 10-11

Cataract and IOL Services, Aravind-Madurai conducted a workshop for operation theatre AOPs to improve their IOL loading skills. Lecture and practical sessions were handled by Dr.Aruna Pai and faculty from Aurolab, Alcon and Hoya. A total of 63 participants took part in the workshop.

Digital Diabetic Retinopathy Workshop

Aravind – Madurai, November 28

Sponsored by Allergan, Retina Services of Aravind-Madurai organised a workshop on diabetic retinopathy. Dr.R.Kim chaired the session. Retina consultants from Aravind-Madurai shared their inputs on varied topics.

Workshop on Firefighting

Aravind-Tirunelveli, December 20, 2021

The workshop was organised for the MLOP recruits and all new joiners (Admin cadre) to orient them on basic firefighting techniques. Different types of fire extinguishers and their benefits were discussed.  A demo of firefighting and a mock evacuation procedure was also organised.

MIGS Symposium- Mission Possible 2022

Aravind-Pondicherry, January 8

Aravind-Pondicherry organised a symposium on Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) – Mission Possible, to help participants learn Bent Ab-interno Needle Goniectomy (BANG), iStent (Glaukos) implantation, tips and tricks for GATT or Gonioscopic assisted transluminal trabeculotomy and basics of Trabectome. Special thanks to Dr.Davinder Grover and Mr.Dheeraj for sharing videos on “GATT- Tricks and troubleshooting” and “Beginning Trabectome Surgery” respectively, which were uploaded on Aurotube.

iStent recently got entry into the Indian sub-continent and so a dry-lab session was arranged where Mr.Saikat Dutta (Manager, Glaukos India) trained the participants on iStent implantation. Ten glaucoma surgeons from Aravind centres – Madurai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli and Chennai – took part. The team started training with 3D Ngenuity viewing system where surgeons did dry Lab training in addition to conventional microscope training which was followed by hands on training for iStent and BANG.

CME on Communication

Aravind – Coimbatore, December 15, 2021

Aravind-Coimbatore organised this non-clinical CME for its MLOPs. Dr.Pranesh, Medical Consultant emphasised the importance of using the right and appropriate words in patient communication. Ms. Rajakumari, Counselling Coordinator elaborated on the importance of attitude and empathy in communication. Ms.Umapriya, HR Manager stressed maintaining transparency in communication.

CME on CSSD Protocols for Paramedics

Aravind – Coimbatore, December 15, 2021

Aravind Eye Hospital, Coimbatore in association with TNOA organised the CME for allied ophthalmic personnel. Dr.Kalpana Narendran, Senior Medical Officer, Coimbatore gave an overview of the CME and Dr.D.Chandrasekhar moderated the sessions. Dr.Mohan Rajan, President, TNOA introduced the topic. The CME covered essential topics in CSSD like Zoning, Cleaning and Disinfection, Sterilization Techniques, Validations, Vitreo Retinal and Specialty instruments. The sessions were supplemented with video demonstrations. All the sessions were held in Tamil for easy understanding of allied ophthalmic personnel.

CME for Staff of Vision Centres, Surgical Centre and Community Centre

Aravind-Tirunelveli, December 12

The main purpose of the CME was to help staff know more about specialty eye conditions and clarify their doubts, The CME also helped them update their knowledge on the latest technology used in diagnosis and management of eye diseases. About 95 staff members took part.

Motivational Session

Aravind-Tirunelveli, December 19

As part of employee welfare activities, a motivational session for staff and their children was conducted at Aravind-Tirunelveli. The session discussed how to successfully and effectively prepare children for board exams. Mr.R.Ganesh, Founder – Life Improvement through Mind Engineering handled the session. Staff along with their child(ren) and spouses took part.

Soft Skill Training Session

Aravind-Tirunelveli, December 10

The session was arranged for the MLOPs and Admin staff at Aravind-Tirunelveli.  Mr.R.Ganesh, Founder – Life Improvement through Mind Engineering handled the session.

Eye care Librarians Meet

Aravind-Madurai, December 17

Aravind Library and Information Centre – Madurai organised a virtual meet of eye care librarians. The purpose was to discuss ideas to conduct journal club discussions periodically for eye care librarians. The meeting was headed by Ms.Pamela C Sieving from California, USA. A total of 15 librarians from seven institutions joined the meet and shared their experiences on how they overcame the challenges in offering service during the pandemic. Ms.Pamela shared a brief update on the Association of Vision Science Librarians (AVSL) and its latest meeting held in the USA on December 1 and 2.

Garden Competition and Exhibition

Aravind, January 8

The central Housekeeping Department of Aravind Eye Care System conducted a garden competition in which all centres participated. With great enthusiasm, they  shared pictures of their gardens set beautifully for the competition. Staff members were also given a chance to participate in the competition. They were given a pot in advance and asked to grow any indoor plant of their choice.  On January 8, an exhibition of these was arranged and judges were invited from outside to evaluate it.


Pongal Celebration

Aravind centres celebrated Pongal, the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu in a traditional way. Special prayers were offered and special competitions were held.


Christmas Celebration

Christmas was celebrated with great enthusiasm in many Aravind centres. Decorations were done to mark the spirit of Christmas; fun games were organised and sweets were distributed.