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Affordable, accessible and automatic screening solution for diabetic retinopathy

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - Smartscope-X (Affordable, accessible and automatic screening solution for diabetic retinopathy)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2021-04-30

Smartscope-X project aims to develop, validate and commercialize revolutionary solution for screening of diabetic retinopathy and other blinding eye diseases. Solution combines a new low cost and customized hand held fundus camera connected with AI for automated diagnosis.

Almost 500 million people live with Diabetes. And diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes, and the fastest growing reason, of blindness. About 35% of all diabetics will at some point of their lives suffer vision loss because of this disease. However, progression of disease (diabetic retinopathy) and following vision loss can be prevented if the disease is detected at early stage. Annual retinal checks (screenings) are mandatory for everyone with diabetes. However current retinal imaging machines (fundus cameras) are expensive and there are not even enough eye doctors in the world to provide these screenings for everyone who are at risk. This makes screenings currently expensive and available only for small percent of all diabetics. Therefore, low cost hand held fundus cameras, connected to AI for easy screening and instant automatic diagnosis are urgently needed to prevent millions of people from going blind each year because of diabetic retinopathy.

The overall objectives are to develop customized camera that is connected to cloud solution with AI algorithms for automatic diagnosis based on captured images, to validate the solution via clinical trials and commercial pilots and to introduce commercial solution to the market.
Camera development is completed as planned but improvement continues and cloud solution development has progressed significantly in line with project objectives.

AI algorithm partners have been identified and selected. Solution development and integration work was achieved with few partners while development work with other continues.

Validation plan, including clinical trials and commercial pilots, has been done and several initial tests have already been completed. In addition, commercial plan has been made and few channel / commercialization partner has been identified, however search is still ongoing. Several partner meetings in key markets have been taken, piloting plan and initial business models are being discussed.
By end of the project, it is expected that Optomed has the best proven solution to automatically and instantly screen diabetic retinopathy with a hand held fundus camera that is connected to AI. This will have following benefits:
i. Cost for society for arranging diabetic retinopathy screenings can potentially be reduced by factor of 10.
ii. Annual eye screenings can potentially reach all people in the world (500 million diabetics) within a next 10-20 years (currently screenings can reach only low percentage of people).
iii. Blindness and deaths because of diabetic retinopathy will radically drop from millions in each year (situation today) to a fraction of that.
iv. Via this pioneering project, Optomed has already significantly accelerated low cost hand held fundus camera technology development, and AI introduction in ophthalmology/healthcare. This will have significant positive impact in lives of millions of people in following years.
Information flow chart for Smartscope-X system