CORALVILLE, Iowa, Feb. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A growing number of Americans with diabetes are now having their eyes checked for a leading cause of blindness using artificial intelligence. IDx-DR, an FDA-cleared AI system that detects diabetic retinopathy, does not require a physician to interpret the images or results. This allows patients who are at high risk for this blinding eye disease to be tested in non-eye care settings.
Madhu Mohan, MD, an endocrinologist at Riverside Medical Associates in Riverdale, MD, did not previously have the ability to test his patients for diabetic retinopathy without referring them to eye care. Yet like most healthcare providers, many of his patients do not go to their recommended annual eye exam, and he was concerned some might be slipping through the cracks. He is now using IDx-DR to test his patients during their regularly scheduled visits.
"In the short time we've been using IDx-DR, we've already identified patients we believe may have disease that has gone undetected for years. This is a bomb shell – a truly eye-opening experience - that helped confirm my decision to adopt the system," said Dr. Mohan. "There is an enormous care gap we can't ignore."
More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and an estimated 24,000 lose vision each year from diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes. If caught in its early stages, vision loss and blindness are almost entirely preventable, yet only about half of people with diabetes get regular eye exams.
Healthcare providers who are currently testing for diabetic retinopathy may find IDx-DR to be a valuable tool to increase efficiency and patient throughput. A diabetes education center at a hospital in New Orleans, LA recently adopted IDx-DR to enhance their existing diabetic retinopathy detection program. Their goal is to increase the number of patients they are able to test from 10-13 to over 20 a day.
"It is exciting to see such a wide range of healthcare settings – most who were previously unable to provide eye care services – now using an autonomous AI system to test patients for diabetic retinopathy, without needing the involvement of telemedicine or an eye care specialist," said Michael Abramoff, MD, PhD, founder and CEO of IDx (now known as Digital Diagnostics), the company behind IDx-DR. "We need to make it easier for patients to be tested and that means meeting them where they are already receiving their care. IDx-DR can be placed in whatever setting that might be."
IDx-DR is now in use in the following frontline care settings:
- Endocrinology clinics
- Internal medicine clinics
- Diabetes education centers
- Diagnostic labs
- Community health clinics
- Diabetes research groups
IDx (now known as Digital Diagnostics) is a leading AI diagnostics company on a mission to transform the quality, accessibility, and affordability of healthcare. Founded in 2010 by a team of world-renowned clinician scientists, the company is focused on developing clinically-aligned autonomous AI that detect disease in medical images. By enabling diagnostic assessment in primary care settings, IDx aims to increase patient access to high-quality, affordable disease detection.
The company's first product, IDx-DR, is an FDA-cleared AI-based diagnostic system designed for use at the front lines of care to detect diabetic retinopathy. IDx-DR is intended for use by health care providers to automatically detect more than mild diabetic retinopathy in adults (22 years of age or older) diagnosed with diabetes who have not been previously diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. IDx-DR is indicated for use with the Topcon NW400, an easy to use and highly accurate robotic fundus camera.
IDx is developing additional AI-based diagnostic systems for the detection of macular degeneration, glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke risk.