A research project proposing a novel non-invasive method to measure intracranial pressure (ICP), in a safe and timely manner, has been awarded one of 17 Explorer Grants by New Zealand’s Health Research Council (HRC).
Led by Dr Sheng Chiong Hong from oDocs Eye Care and Dr Mojtaba Golzan from the University of Technology Sydney, and involving Otago Department of Medicine researchers Drs Kelechi Ogbuehi and Nick Cutfield and oDocs’ Dr Ben O’Keeffe and Glenn Linde, the project was awarded NZ$150,000 over 24 months.
A small proportion of headaches can be associated with life- and sight-threatening consequences if not diagnosed and treated quickly, said Dr Hong. “While conventional ICP-measurement methods are highly invasive and can be associated with debilitating complications, this technique may reduce the need for lumbar punctures, minimising clinical risks, reducing backlogs and improving public sector health-delivery services.”
Using the HRC grant, the team will use demographic data, retinal scans and dynamic ocular signs to develop an algorithm to estimate ICP, explained oDocs’ Dr Renoh Chalakkal. “We envisage the end product as an all-in-one hardware and software triaging tool, minimising the number of patients going through high-risk and invasive procedures. Given its portable nature, we think it could be used in a range of settings, including emergency departments and specialist centres like optometry, ophthalmology and neurology.” For eyecare professionals, the experience will be very similar to ophthalmoscopy – capturing images and videos of the optic disc for artificial intelligence analysis, he said.