75: How This Device Lets Doctors Conduct Eye Exams Through a Smartphone
As many of you know, I love how technology is solving problems. I came across a great solution today about simple, effective and affordable portable eye and retinal imaging system. This easily attaches to a Smartphone creating a camera for vision care screening and evaluation. The beauty of this is it can be carried anywhere. It’s especially interesting for medical professionals in developing countries who can carry that around with them. But what is also interesting about this technology is it’s also used by vets.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your role at D-EYE?
I am the CEO of D-EYE which started in Padua Italy where our main office is. The company was started by an Italian ophthalmologist named Andrea Russo. I became involved because early in my career I spent ten years with Bausch & Lomb introducing soft contact lenses not only in the United States but in Northern Europe. After Bausch & Lomb I became the founder of a brand new GPS technology company called Magellan Systems. We introduced GPS all over the globe and built that brand over 11 years. So my background in introducing new technology as well as my long term background with the eye brought me into this role with D-EYE.
Can you explain how this app works and what equipment you need to get up and running?
The equipment is really easy. We’re working predominantly right now with Apple I-Phone. The models we’re working with are the 5, 5 S, 6 and 6 S. In about 3 weeks we’re going to introduce our product for the 6 +, 6 S+ and the SE. If people have those models our package has something called a bumper or adapter that wraps around those devices and the reason for that bumper is so that the DI lens is properly aligned with the camera and the light source of the Smartphone. What the DI lens does (and this was Dr. Russo’s invention) using mirrors and beam splitting capability is remove corneal glare and allows for a nice crisp image of the back of the eye.
Who is this aimed at?
Our opening market, because these people concentrate on eye health, are ophthalmologists and optometrists. These professionals have all the equipment you need to do proper eye exams but if they go mobile (leave their office) and go into clinics and senior living communities and even prisons we’ve heard they now have a mobile device that they can capture the image.
That’s the key to our product as it relates to the other health care professionals that are expressing interest in us. Many of these professionals look at the back of the eye for signs of trauma. These include neurologists, pediatricians, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, endocrinologists, emergency medical technicians and hospitals. Even though they may not be an eye health professional they can now with D-EYE capture the image, transmit the image via the cellular network and have an eye health professional weigh in on what they are actually seeing.
Can this be used by vets as well?
That is correct. We actually have images I will share with you or anyone else that expresses interest taken by a veterinarian ophthalmologist in France.
How has D-EYE been received by those working in the eye care industry? Has there been any resistance or has it been well received?
It’s been really positive. At trade shows we dilate our eyes in our booth to allow people to get a good image as they come to us because we’re always combating the overhead lights of the convention center. But if you were standing behind the examiner like ten or fifteen other people you would just hear the word wow when they see the back of my eyes show up on my iPhone.
Are you selling all over the world?
Yes we are but there are certain places around the world where we do have to go through regulatory issues. In the United States we are FDA registered, in Europe we are CE registered. In other countries they may not have any regulatory issues we have to deal with and we can definitely sell to them. Then we have distributors in other countries that do have regulatory issues and they are helping us pass the needed things we have to do.
What’s next for you guys?
The big milestone for us is the image vault. We’re also coming out with a new upgrade to our app. This new upgrade will provide more features for our customers to be able to do more with the images that they are getting with the DI.
What use would a consumer get out of this?
I think there is an opportunity down the road for that to happen but I think a consumer needs to be comfortable with examining their own eye. I think it’s a possibility but I don’t think it’s going to happen in the next two years.
If anyone listening wants to reach out to you guys and find out more information what’s the best way of doing that?
They can send an email to our company at firstname.lastname@example.org which is usually the best way for people to get a hold of us. They can also go to our website www.d-eyecare.com.