2018 - Year in review and our fifth birthday!

Take a look back at RetinaLyze's 2018 — and get a peek at the future of eye screening and RetinaLyze in 2019.

Posted on
December 16, 2018
in
Company news

Before jumping into 2019, let’s take a look back at all we accomplished together during the last year. There was an all-time high of automated screenings run, the launch of the glaucoma algorithm and compliance with EU-GDPR — finally, we celebrate our 5th birthday!

Highlights of 2018

We are immensely proud to have launched a series of major features and optimisations in RetinaLyze during 2018. Here’s a quick look back on the major highlights of the year:

RetinaLyze Glaucoma

The RetinaLyze Glaucoma AI algorithm assesses the Optic Nerve Head of a fundus photo to detect signs of Glaucoma

In cooperation with a team of researchers from Insoft, lead by Professor de la Rosa, we succeeded in creating an algorithm that screens a picture from a fundus camera for glaucoma. The algorithm can identify glaucoma using the haemoglobin level in the optic nerve head with the same performance and safety as OCT's and visual perimetry. The entire screening process, from image capture to result, takes only 30 seconds and can be performed using a normal image from a fundus camera.

According to the main researcher of the project and clinical software developer, Prof. Manuel González de la Rosa M.D. Ph.D., it is “a technology that seeks to become a simple and economical diagnostic alternative that can be applied to the general public to improve the prevention of vision loss. This technology detects incipient forms of eye diseases that can be asymptomatic and, therefore, go unnoticed in examinations carried out by optometrists or other health professionals. This situation occurs in cases in which the diseases has not yet affected the central part of the retina or macula, so the patient does not perceive them and cannot warn their doctor of the symptoms.”

Version 3.0.0, launched on March 26th 2018, introduced the RetinaLyze Glaucoma algorithm to the web application. Version 3.1.0 , launched in August 2018, made the RetinaLyze Glaucoma workflow fully automatic, further increasing the speed of each eye screening. Read more about the algorithm itself here, more about the workflow in the Knowledge Base and go to our Research section to find the research papers revolving RetinaLyze Glaucoma.

Smaller improvements

Our development team has been working hard this year to improve the eye screening workflow. Below are a few smaller optimisations and enhancement we've released this year.

We are working to improve the compatibility of RetinaLyze with more software (EMR/EHR and PACS platforms) and more fundus cameras. The algorithm is compatible with several fundus cameras already, see the continuously expanding list of supported fundus cameras here.

RetinaLyze was improved with several speed-related improvements and was given a visual overhaul. Especially the sections of the web application, which are used the most (the Overview and Detailed page) were changed.

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was a hot topic for a lot of med-tech companies this year. RetinaLyze was already compliant with the security and data processing-related requirements in 2017. An optional secondary page-layout was implemented to make it possible to hide the results of current and prior eye screenings from computers, which were placed in public.

Eye screening camp in Malawi

The Rotary Medical Mission (RMM) was in Malawi to provide free eye services including provision of eye and sunglasses and check ups. Our Head of Global Sales, Lasse Bundgaard, joined them in Lilongwe, Malawi at the Kamuzu Central Hospital. The citizens of Malawi were provided with free eye exams and glasses by the RMM, which screened over 2500 patients during one week. We are proud to have sponsored this eye health awareness and screening activity with personnel, free automated RetinaLyze-screenings for signs of DR, AMD and Glaucoma as well as Horus DEC200 retinal cameras.

Lasse Bundgaard presented the RetinaLyze software for the doctors at Kamuzu Central Hospital (Lilongwe, Malawi). The talk revolved around how AI can save 60% of the ophthalmologist's work in eye-screening by automatically triaging patients with the use of non-specialist personnel. This AI-enabled process sorts out about 75% of the patients (who have healthy eyes). Artificial Intelligence can thereby work as an efficient co-pilot in the detection of preventable blindness, while heavily increasing the number of patients a small low-skilled AI-enabled team can screen. Finally the younger doctors were instructed in the practical use of fundus cameras and the automated algorithms. Read more and see a gallery of images from the event here. You can also watch videos of the event on Facebook.

RetinaLyze receives funding to detect diseases such as Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease, which is the root cause of 60-70% of all cases of dementia

We received funding from The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Central Denmark Region this year. The funding will be used to explore and develop novel AI-based solutions for automated disease and pathology screening/detection.

The project's main focus will be to build eye-screening AI-software, which can detect and grade several eye-diseases and eye pathologies. The secondary focus will be to explore the possibility of detecting diseases (or indications thereof), which are not traditionally detected through analysis of the retinal imagery e.g. Alzheimer's. Such a system will aid greatly in achieving our mission of enabling accessible and efficient eye-screenings, saving sight and saving lives.

The system could be used by general practitioners, primary care sector, private contractors such as optometrists and pharmacies and rudimentary screening camps to screen the general public for sight-threatening or life-threatening diseases (where screening and early treatment makes sense) in a convenient and accessible manner. Read more about the research here.

Looking ahead: The direction for 2019

We’ve always got our eyes on the future of eye screening, so 2019 will see us working on:

We’re incredibly excited to forge ahead with all these improvements, and will keep you all posted as the year unfolds.

5 years old and 1 million eye screenings

Since July 2015, we have performed over 1.000.000 AI-based screenings for signs of DR, AMD and Glaucoma together with our customers in ophthalmology and optometry all over Europe. We have referred over 7300 people with undetected eye diseases, including roughly 3.000 cases of Age-related Macula Degeneration, 1000 cases of Diabetic Retinopathy and 1300 cases of Glaucoma. 5500 people had severe eye conditions which lead to blindness if they go untreated, while 500 people had life-threatening and/or acute conditions which needed immediate diagnosis and treatment. While these are startling numbers, we are excited to be a part of the eye screening community and will continue our efforts in saving vision.

We love what we do, of course, but none of it would mean a thing if not for all of you. The fact that you find RetinaLyze useful and powerful for your needs makes our work meaningful.

So again: thank you. Thank you for using RetinaLyze. Thank you for making 2018 amazing. And thank you for exploring the future of eye screening with us. Happy new year!

Above all else: Thank you!

Ganesh Ram

CCO and Co-founder of @RetinaLyze.
Productivity and UX-geek.
Passionate about making an impact.