Eyenuk and Devlyn Optical, a spin-off of Grupo Devlyn, a multinational optical retailer with over one thousand stores in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and the USA, announced today that they will collaborate to pilot diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening services at Devlyn’s convenient optical retail locations by leveraging Eyenuk’s AI-enabled DR screening and telemedicine technologies.

The number of people in the United States with diabetes is increasing rapidly. Today, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes. One in four will develop diabetic retinopathy, which has become the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans. Ophthalmologists have effective treatments for diabetic retinopathy, but they work best when the condition is caught early. That’s why people with diabetes need to receive an eye screening exam every year.

Ophthalmoscopy is the most prevalent examination method for diabetic retinopathy, which requires a person with diabetes to sit in a dark room so an eyecare professional can exam the back part of the eye through an ophthalmoscope. This traditional method requires prolonged and close contact between an individual and the eyecare professional, which makes it hard to maintain social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Devlyn Optical has a long tradition of offering high quality, innovative and convenient vision care in multiple countries. There is a growing need for diabetic eye care in communities we serve, and Devlyn can offer much better DR screening service right inside our optical stores,” said Jesse W. Devlyn Jr, CEO of Devlyn Optical, LLC. “With this exciting collaboration with Eyenuk, Devlyn will be able to expand our service from vision care to diabetes-related eye care, in a convenient and safe manner for both people with diabetes and eye care professionals.”

Eyenuk’s EyeScreen Human+AI Diagnostic Service is a novel AI-enabled telemedicine approach to disease detection that significantly reduces the time for an individual to be in close contact with an eye care professional, as eye image interpretation is conducted by human grader and AI remotely. After an individual’s retinal images are quickly captured at a Devlyn optical store, images will be independently assessed by both the AI disease detection system and specialist human graders separately and remotely, and then an ICD-10 compliant report is generated. In the event that the AI and human graders disagree, the images are adjudicated by another professional remotely.

“Eyenuk is on a mission to screen every eye in the world to ensure timely diagnosis of life- and vision-threatening diseases,” said Kaushal Solanki, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Eyenuk. “As we expand our collaborations with integrated healthcare systems, diabetes and primary care clinics, retina specialist practices, and national DR screening programs, this partnership with Devlyn Optical enables us to expand our footprint in the optical retail setting where millions of patrons can benefit from onsite DR screening.”

Devlyn and Eyenuk will start the DR screening pilot in Los Angeles, a city where over 11% of its residents are living with diabetes. Both companies expect to expand their collaboration in the future through geographic expansion, screening for additional eye diseases such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, and utilizing novel eye screening technologies at mobile and kiosk-based locations.

Source: Company Press Release