Retina Technologies Reports Working With Major Health Systems To Boost Access to Eye Testing

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While established manufacturers of diagnostic eye equipment may arguably not like the disruption, one startup company says it is offering an easy-to-use digital tool to quickly identify vision problems in patients and reports that its system may benefit both healthcare providers and patients.

Retina Technologies states that it is in the late stages of prototyping its OcuVueTM platform for commercial use. ​​OcuVueTM is a modular headset for vision testing that Retina Technologies says takes about 15 minutes to administer.

Because of the short time needed and because of how easy it is to use the technology — no specialist training is required — the company envisions working directly with primary care providers (PCPs) to offer the service as part of any routine patient physical. If a potential abnormality is discovered using one of the interchangeable OcuVueTM modules, machine learning-powered referrals can be made to vision care specialists.

“Patients will ultimately be able to get fast, regular, visual function exams and retinal imaging, all in about 15 minutes without getting out of their chair and without dilations,” the company says.

During the process, the PCP reportedly benefits from a new revenue stream while increasing numbers of patients that are referred to vision-care specialists, benefiting both them and patients who might otherwise not have had access to quality eye testing. This should also be enticing to vision specialists, who generally make more money from treating referred, pre-identified eye disorders than having to screen for the conditions themselves. Retina Technologies is building that missing referral pipeline. 

Retina Technologies was created by five medical students who say they saw firsthand how many people in the United States don’t have access to routine eye-care services. Lack of access could result in undiagnosed vision loss and contributes to hundreds of thousands of cases of severe vision loss every year in the U.S., 80% of which are avoidable.

“OcuVueTM was designed from the ground up to be an affordable, comprehensive, end-to-end vision screening solution that brings PCPs, vision-care providers and vision specialists closer together for the prevention of blindness,” the company says. “The key to Retina Technologies is that it works in any healthcare environment, from small private practices to large health systems.”

Working With The Best?

Retina Technologies reports that it is working closely with the world-renowned New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, as well as with other Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai practices, to refine the OcuVueTM technology. This includes extensive clinical trials. The president of NYEE, Dr. Jim Tsai, showed strong support for the OcuVueTM platform and Retina Technologies’ mission to decentralize vision screening on their StartEngine campaign’s launch video

The global vision-care market was valued at $125.6 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow to approximately $193 billion by 2026 amid increased demand for sunglasses and a growing diagnosis of myopia, according to Fortune Business Insights. Big names in the industry include Alcon AG ALC and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE; JNJ).

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