285 million people across the world are visually impaired. Many people who are visually impaired face a lifetime of inequality, as they often have poorer health and face barriers to education and employment. It is estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that 80% of all vision impairment can be prevented or cured.
A rapidly ageing population and a growing middle-class means that the impact of vision loss is expected to rise exponentially. Early screening of all people is crucial to lower the costs of avoidable blindness – socio-economically as well as personally.
According to number from the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICOPH), the number of ophthalmologists is not at all developing at the same rate as the number of patients needing screening, diagnosis, treatment and aftercare. While gold-standard fundus screening methods often require dilation and multiple photographs (such as the seven-field stereo colour ETDRS), they are time-consuming, expensive and requires an experienced photographer.
Single-field non-mydriatic digital photography of the eye is a more efficient and cost-effective method of screening. Advances in big data processing and increased internet access have also improved the current methods of screening for eye diseases. The trend is moving towards telemedicine applications with improved imaging technologies, automatic assessment of fundus photographs, and more individualised risk assessments simply because the need for screening is growing exponentially.
The RetinaLyze® system combines the speed and efficiency of Artificial Intelligence with the guidance and supervision of telemedicine to dramatically lower the cost of eye screening and makes it possible to offer treatment to patients around the world at manageable costs. The main reason for people not attending their yearly eye-screenings (after being diagnosed) is the poor availability and lack of ease of the eye screening. The RetinaLyze® system enables retail eye care professionals such as optometrists to perform safe and easy eye screenings, thereby increasing the availability of eye-screenings for the general public.