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Early screening of eye diseases using automated diagnosis of high-fidelity 3D images

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EASED3D (Early screening of eye diseases using automated diagnosis of high-fidelity 3D images)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2017-11-30

The EU SME Instrument Phase 1 feasibility study on early screening of eye diseases using automated diagnosis of high-fidelity 3D images (EASED3D) was aimed at investigating the business feasibility of OCTLIGHT technology for 3D medical imaging. The impact would be improved screening, better and more reliable diagnosis. With an aging population effective diagnostics tools are needed for treatment of chronic diseases. Eye diseases affect >285 million people and chronic diseases is a problem in developed countries being faced with escalating healthcare cost to medication due to an aging population. OCTLIGHT has during the last 3 years developed a swept source technology for Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) which enables much faster imaging speed and depth. It has been identified that this can help increase the quality of cataract treatment with improved outcomes of refractive corrections and diagnosis of diseases manifesting in the retina at an earlier stage.
During the project:
• the clinical case of 3D OCT was investigated through literature studies and interviews with stakeholders
• the IPR landscape was surveyed
• the requirements for automation was examined
• business models were investigated
• and a revised business plan was drawn up
The work on the clinical case based on literature and interviews with Key Opinion Leaders documented that there is a need for 3D images of the eye beyond the 2D imaging capability of digital fundus imaging and cross-sectional imaging of current OCT systems. The literature study has detailed how there is a correlation between OCT and chronic disease manifestations of:
• CNS (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, dementia, mild cognitive impairment);
• Endocrine diseases (e.g. Diabetes Mellitus);
• Cardiovascular diseases (e.g. hypertension, atherosclerosis);
• Ophthalmic indications (e.g. Age-related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma).
The patent landscape survey identified the most active patentees, how the patenting activity within OCT have evolved over time, and what technical aspects that are patented in the field of OCT. This was exploited to shape the IP strategy.
The investigation into the requirements of automation showed favorably the need for fast 3D OCT imaging of the eye and how this would impact the clinical utility.
Based on the above investigations and the current market intelligence of OCTLIGHT different business models were mapped out and analyzed in depth to investigate how to maximize return on investment to investors and impact to society. The value chain and value proposition were mapped out for different customer segments and the requirements on activities and business network was investigated.
Based on the business model mapping a single scenario was chosen for which the business plan was updated accordingly. The decision was based on the discussion and recommendation from the Advisory Board and Board of Directors of OCTLIGHT.
The results of the EU SME Instrument Phase 1 study will be exploited to increase the impact from an end-user perspective and will be disseminated to investors that can support the new direction set out in the revised business plan.
The Horizon2020 program have identified the side effects of an aging population, with the number of people of age 65 and above to have grown by 70% by 2050, as a focus area. The specific focus of the EASED3D project has been on how to address the need for improved monitoring of patient with chronic diseases manifesting in the eye.
The EU SME Instrument Phase 1 has shown that there is tremendous potential for improved diagnosis of eye diseases manifesting in the eye using OCTLIGHT 3D imaging technology. From an European perspective there is a unique opportunity to translate this technology originating from The Technical University of Denmark to end-users and thereby provide cost savings to the healthcare system from increased efficiency. OCTLIGHT is collaborating with institutions and companies abroad Europe, leveraging the access to key expertise and increasing the impact to the European society. It has been concluded that translation of OCTLIGHT technology will have significant impact on society worldwide by improving outcomes of treatment of chronic diseases by earlier diagnosis.
Schematic of a complete OCT system with the Swept Source