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OcuSciences, based in Ann Arbor, MI, has developed an instrument that will provide information to enable earlier diagnosis of eye conditions including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration. Currently, in the case of diabetic retinopathy, it is only after being diagnosed with diabetes that a patient will begin to have their retinas checked regularly. Typically, the ophthalmologist utilizes structural imaging methods to look for leakage, hemorrhages, or other microvasculature changes. They determine at what point there are enough “little blotches” on the retinal images that suggest that there is an active disease state. However, by that time the disease has been active for many years and significant irreversible damage has occurred. OcuSciences’ technology is able to detect damage at the very early stages of diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, empowering the physician to be proactive with the treatment and monitoring of these disorders.
OcuSciences’ device, the OcuMet Beacon, produces a rapid, quantitative, and non-invasive measure that will give a snapshot of a patient’s retinal health to clinicians. It can suggest the presence of disease 5-10 years earlier using a technology called Retinal Metabolic Analysis (RMA). OcuSciences’ founders discovered that when exposing the retina to a specific wavelength of blue light, mitochondrial-bound flavoproteins that were not contributing effectively to energy production in the cell, due to impairment by an underlying retinal disease, emitted green fluorescence. In contrast, healthy flavoproteins did not react to the light. The Beacon was developed to leverage this behavior to detect the progression of disease. The Beacon displays the results as a two-dimensional fundus image with the level of fluorescence displayed so that damage can be localized. It also summarizes the data collected in the scan by providing an average fluorescence and a plot of the number of image pixels at each fluorescence intensity, showing the variance in the fluorescence throughout the image to assess heterogeneity. A high average intensity and a high variance are both signs suggesting possible disease.
Use of the Beacon requires a quick, non-invasive image of the eye without the need for injection of any dye or compound. The test takes only five minutes and can be performed in a clinical setting. The device has been used by a number of clinical sites for investigational purposes, and the technique has a half-dozen peer-reviewed publications showing promising results.
For More Information
The iData report series on ophthalmic devices covers the U.S. and Europe and includes data on markets for OCTs, fundus cameras, slit lamps, perimeters, tonometers, ophthalmic ultrasound systems, corneal topographers, wavefront aberrometers, phacoemulsification consoles, intraocular lenses, and phakic intraocular lenses. Full reports provide a comprehensive analysis including procedure numbers, units sold, market value, forecasts, as well as detailed competitive market shares and analyses of major players’ success strategies in each market and segment.
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