LOS ANGELES, CA, May 16, 2019 – Eyenuk, Inc., a global artificial intelligence (AI) medical technology and services company and the leader in real-world applications for AI Eye Screening™, announced today results of its expansion into Germany. Since adopting the EyeArt AI Eye Screening System in October 2018, Diabetes Center Mergentheim has screened thousands of diabetic patients, identifying approximately 10% with cases of referable diabetic retinopathy (DR). The center is the first dedicated diabetes clinic in Germany to use artificial intelligence for screening of diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of vision loss in working-age adults.[i]
The EyeArt AI Eye Screening System makes in-clinic, real-time DR screening possible for any physician, enabling quick and accurate identification of patients with referable DR during a diabetic patient’s regular physician visit. Once the patient’s fundus images have been captured and submitted to the EyeArt System, the DR screening results are available to view and export to a PDF report in less than 60 seconds. The EyeArt system can free eye care specialists to focus on sight-saving treatment rather than screening for DR.
“EyeArt AI Eye Screening System is helping us improve diabetic patient care. We can now offer eye screening right in our clinic, without dilation, while reducing wait time for screening and results. The accuracy and convenience of the EyeArt system is allowing us to identify and treat DR effectively and quickly.”
– Prof. Dr. Med. Thomas Haak
At Diabetes Center Mergentheim, more than 20,000 patients with diabetes are seen each year by diabetes care specialists. Before adopting the EyeArt system, patients would be referred to ophthalmologists outside of the clinic. This process placed undue burden on patients, and often they would never get the necessary screening.
“EyeArt AI Eye Screening System is helping us improve diabetic patient care. We can now offer eye screening right in our clinic, without dilation, while reducing wait time for screening and results,” said Prof. Dr. Med. Thomas Haak, head physician of Diabetes Center Mergentheim and founding member and board director of DiabetesDE. “The accuracy and convenience of the EyeArt system is allowing us to identify and treat DR effectively and quickly. The patients with no referable DR feel good that they can be screened again in a year, and the patients with identified referable DR can feel good that their silently progressing retinopathy has been identified and will be treated before any loss of sight.”
About 7.5 million people in Germany have diabetes mellitus[ii], with over 2,500 patients going blind due to diabetic retinopathy each year. German guidelines recommend at-risk patients be screened annually, but this can be difficult with the shortage of eye doctors. By incorporating the EyeArt system into their clinic, Diabetes Center Mergentheim has addressed a serious complication associated with diabetes— the center now screens 10 to 15 patients per day for this vision-threatening condition.
“Last year, we began our partnership with Diabetes Center Mergentheim with a great promise, and now it is very gratifying to see the promise turning into real meaningful impact that EyeArt system’s adoption is making to the diabetes patients in the community”, said Kaushal Solanki, founder and CEO of Eyenuk. “We are now replicating our success to clinics throughout Germany, taking us one more step further in realizing our mission to screen every eye in the world.”
Watch Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Haak’s video interview about the use of EyeArt in their Diabetes Clinic.
About Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)
DR is a complication of diabetes caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). It is a silently progressing disease that at first may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. Eventually, it can cause blindness. The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes.[iii] It is estimated that one-third of all patients with diabetes will develop DR,[iv] making it the leading cause of vision loss in working-age adults.[v]
While DR screening is recommended for all diabetic patients, less than half get screened annually[i], even in the developed world. Since diabetic patients outnumber ophthalmologists by 1,130 to 1 in Germany,[vi] there are just not enough eye care specialists to meet the DR screening needs of the growing diabetic population. Even for those receiving an annual screening, ophthalmology appointment wait times for DR screening can be weeks or even months.
About the EyeArt System
The EyeArt AI Eye Screening System is the most extensively validated AI technology for autonomous detection of DR, tested in the real world on more than a half million patient visits globally with over 2 million images collected in real-world clinical environments. The EyeArt System was developed with funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is validated by the U.K. National Health Service (NHS). The EyeArt System has CE marking in the European Union and a Health Canada license. In the U.S., the EyeArt System is limited by federal law to investigational use.
About Eyenuk, Inc.
Eyenuk, Inc. is a global artificial intelligence (AI) medical technology and services company and the leader in real-world AI Eye Screening™ for autonomous disease detection and AI Predictive Biomarkers™ for risk assessment and disease surveillance. Eyenuk is on a mission to screen every eye in the world to ensure timely diagnosis of life- and vision-threatening diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, stroke risk, cardiovascular risk and Alzheimer’s disease.
EyeArt is a registered trademark of Eyenuk, Inc.
[i]Prokofyeva E, Zrenner E. Epidemiology of major eye diseases leading to blindness in Europe: a literature review. Ophthalmic Research. 2012;47:171-188. doi: 10.1159/000329603
[iv] Yau JW, Rogers SL, Kawasaki R, et al. Global prevalence and major risk factors of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes Care. 2012;35:556-64. doi: 10.2337/dc11-1909
[v] Prokofyeva E, Zrenner E. Epidemiology of major eye diseases leading to blindness in Europe: a literature review. Ophthalmic Research. 2012;47:171-188. doi: 10.1159/000329603