We are happy to announce a cooperation with Microsoft backed AirDoc - one of the first companies worldwide to utilise Artificial Intelligence in the early detection of retinal disease.
Two of the most important causes of visual loss and blindness worldwide are called age-related macular degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy. Both of them are related to pathological changes of the retina - the innermost, light-sensitive layer of tissue of the eye.
Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is a degenerative disease of the central portion of the retina (the macula), that results in loss of central vision. It can be classified as dry or wet. Diabetic Retinopathy or DR is a complication to diabetes mellitus that is caused by diabetic damage to the tiny blood vessels of the retina (the light-sensitive tissues at the back of the eye).
425 million adults worldwide suffered from diabetes
Some statistics to give an impression of the magnitude of these two diseases:
In 2017 about 425 million adults worldwide suffered from diabetes, this number is expected to reach 629 million by 2045. About 80% of these people suffering from diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy within 20 years of being diagnosed, leading to progressiv visual impairment and eventually blindness.
When it comes to AMD, the numbers are of similar magnitude: in the USA an estimated 8 million US Americans are affected with early age-related macular degeneration, of whom over 1 million will develop advanced age-related macular degeneration within the next 5 years. In the UK, AMD is the cause of blindness in almost 42% of those who go blind aged 65–74 years, almost two-thirds of those aged 75–84 years, and almost three- quarters of those aged 85 years or older.
Especially DR is known for it’s insidious onset, with symptoms first developing at a very late stage, at which point the retinal changes might have become irreversible and it’s too late to treat it properly. This is why it’s crucial to screen people with diabetes regularly for retinal disease, so diabetes related retinal changes can be detected early and preventive treatment can be started. Such early intervention has been shown to significantly reduce DR progression and thus loss of vision.
Early detection and treatment of abnormalities, like DR and AMD
Taking eye screening to another level, EuroEyes entered a cooperation with China-based company AirDoc in May 2020, one of the first companies worldwide to utilise the newest advances in Artificial Intelligence to systematically screen patients retinas for early detection and treatment of abnormalities, like DR and AMD.
Microsoft-backed company AirDoc has created an AI-driven system that can take and analyse photographic images of the retina within seconds and give hints about potential chronic illnesses and conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, optic nerve disease, high myopia, age-related macular degeneration, and many more. This has become possible through the collection of thousands and thousands of retinal scans and the subsequent creation of an algorithm, that looks for the smallest signs of disease of the retina, like retinal specks, spots, discolouration, blood vessel deformation and other abnormalities.
As part of this new cooperation, EuroEyes will be conducting eye screenings on a big scale using AirDocs new AI algorithms for any potential retinal pathologies. If positive findings should be detected patients will be treated at nearby EuroEyes clinics to referred to clinics or hospitals in the proximity.
The EuroEyes Clinic Group is a globally successful company that was founded 26 years ago in Hamburg and still has its headquarters there today. In addition to locations throughout Germany, EuroEyes is also represented in China and Denmark. The company offers patients the full range of refractive surgery for the correction of visual disorders. Using state-of-the-art eye laser and lens surgery procedures, EuroEyes treats more than 25,000 patients each year with nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia or cataracts. The treatment enables the start of a life free of glasses and contact lenses without any visual impairment.