Eyenuk announced its expansion into Germany with the adoption of EyeArt artificial intelligence (AI) technology for the screening of diabetic retinopathy at Diabetes Center Mergentheim in Bad Mergentheim, Germany. The center is the first dedicated diabetic clinic in Germany to use artificial intelligence for screening of diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of vision loss in working-age adults.
The EyeArt system utilizes artificial intelligence and deep learning to autonomously read retinal images and screen for diabetic retinopathy in under 60 seconds. In Germany, diabetic retinopathy causes nearly 2,000 new cases of blindness each year. Eyenuk is committed to deploy its EyeArt system globally and aims to eliminate instances of preventable blindness.
“We are gratified to see the global adoption for the EyeArt system and the opportunity that the technology offers to primary care and diabetes clinics,” Kaushal Solanki, president and CEO of Eyenuk, said in a company news release. “The EyeArt system will enable millions of patients to be screened in real time for early disease detection, and be expeditiously identified for referral to a vision specialist.”
The vast majority of patients with diabetes who develop diabetic retinopathy have no symptoms until damage to their vision is irreversible. While annual ophthalmic screening is recommended for all those with diabetes, even in the developed world, typically less than half get screened. Adding to this is the limited number of ophthalmologists, healthcare providers with a retinal (fundus) camera, and a historical delay in ophthalmologist appointments for screening or remote image reading, according to Eyenuk.
“Until now, we’ve had to encourage our patients to see an ophthalmologist for annual diabetic retinopathy screening,” Professor Dr. med. Thomas Haak, medical director, Diabetes Center Bad Mergentheim, said in the news release. “However, because the disease shows no symptoms until it’s nearly too late, many are putting off that screening visit. Now with the EyeArt system deployed in our clinic, we can directly screen our diabetes patients on-site for this blinding disease, and possibly save the vision of many who otherwise would have gone undetected.”