Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada Brings AI-Based Diabetic Eye Screening to Rural and Indigenous Communities


Program Selects Eyenuk’s EyeArt AI System to Make Sight-Saving Screening More Accessible Remotely Ontario communities

LOS ANGELES and TORONTO, August 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada (VLRC), from Canada leading provider of rehabilitation therapy and healthcare services for people with vision loss, and Eyenuk, Inc., a global artificial intelligence (AI) medical technology and services company and the application leader in the world for AI Eye Screening™ and AI Predictive Biomarkers™, announced the launch of the VLRC Eye Health Screening Initiative to screen rural, remote and Indigenous populations in the North and Eastern Ontario for diabetic retinopathy (DR), the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults, using Eyenuk’s autonomous AI technology.

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of diabetic eye disease. In Canada750,000 people have DR and the economic impact on the health system is $1.2 billion annually. With early detection, prompt treatment and proper follow-up care, the risk of vision loss can be reduced by 95%. People living in remote and geographically isolated areas, Indigenous communities, and vulnerable populations are at risk for diabetes and vision loss from DR due to lack of appropriate resources close to home. The availability of primary health care is often reduced and access to secondary and tertiary care can be difficult or non-existent.

The VLRC aims to solve the problem by making DR screening easily accessible even in the most remote locations through a closer-to-home approach to care using trusted community providers. VLRC plans to provide 2,700 DR screenings over the next year in two of the from Ontario five regions.

“As the leading provider of vision rehabilitation therapy and health care services for people with vision loss in Canadaour goal is to provide essential vision rehabilitation services, coordinate care for those affected by vision loss, and work with community partners to prevent vision loss and blindness using the screening tool validated at the Eyenuk’s global scale, licensed by Health Canada, which can detect diabetic retinopathy in 30 -60 seconds,” said Jennifer UrosevicPresident and CEO of VLRC.

from Eenuk EyeArt® AI Eye Screening System is the first autonomous AI technology licensed from Health Canada for DR detection. The ease of use and portability of the eye art system is key to program objectives. The eye art The system provides automated DR screening without the need for expert human intervention, grading or eye dilation. This means that imaging, grading and reporting results can be done by virtually anyone with minimal training and without the need for an eye care specialist. The eye art The system autonomously analyzes a patient’s retinal photos, detects signs of disease and creates a report in less than 30 seconds compared to traditional screening which can take days or even weeks. Patients with positive results are referred to an ophthalmologist for care.

The VLRC trains local community providers in the use of the eye art technology and plans to expand the program across Canada to proactively reach all Canadians at heightened risk of DR. Current partners include more than a dozen community organizations such as the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle (IDHC), Riverside Health Care, Atikokan, and the Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig Health Care Access Center (WNHAC). The program provides increased awareness, access to screening, care coordination and vision rehabilitation. Screening will enable early detection, which is essential for reducing complications and improving health outcomes.

“Our partnerships with local community organizations give us the opportunity to provide culturally appropriate care closer to home in remote areas where there is a significant lack of access to eye care,” said Josie McGee, Vice President of Healthcare Innovation at VLRC. “Prior to the launch of this program, people in rural and remote areas Ontario communities would potentially have to drive two to three hours for an appointment and wait up to two weeks to receive results. Now we can provide screening results in less than 30 seconds within a client’s own community. He’s a real game changer.”

Prior to the introduction of the VLRC’s Eye Health Screening Initiative, McGee said eye exams had to be performed by a qualified technician and each photo had to be reviewed by an ophthalmologist. With EyeArt’s AI screening system, only positive screens are reviewed by ophthalmologists, increasing both the cost-effectiveness of the program and the ability of ophthalmologists to review more screens for patients who need it most. of their expertise. VLRC will study the impact of introducing screening in remote areas and identify communities over the next year where the program can have the greatest impact.

“We at the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle (IDHC) are pleased to support, co-develop and endorse the VLRC Eye Health Screening Initiative to screen rural, remote and Indigenous populations in the North and Eastern Ontario for diabetic retinopathy (DR), the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults, using Eyenuk’s self-contained AI technology and led by trusted vendors in the Indigenous community,” said Roslyn Baird, Executive Director of IDHC. “IDHC is aware that Indigenous communities residing in remote and geographically isolated areas are at risk of diabetes and DR due to the lack of appropriate resources close to home. This partnership between VLRC, IDHC and local Indigenous community organizations provides culturally appropriate care, detects diabetic retinopathy in 30-60 seconds and prevents vision loss and blindness.It is an honor to recognize and care for our sacred gifts, especially our eyes.

About Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada

Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada (VLRC) is a national, not-for-profit health care organization and the leading provider of rehabilitation therapies and health care services for people with vision loss.

About Eyenuk, Inc.

Eyenuk, Inc. is a global artificial intelligence (AI) medical technology and services company and the leader in real-world AI Eye Screening™ for autonomous disease detection and AI Predictive Biomarkers™ for the risk assessment and disease surveillance. Eyenuk’s mission is to screen all eyes worldwide to ensure timely diagnosis of life-threatening and sight-threatening diseases including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, risk of stroke brain, cardiovascular risk and Alzheimer’s disease. Find Eyenuk online at his website, Twitter, Facebookand LinkedIn.

About eye art AI system

The eye art AI System provides fully self-contained diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening, including retinal imaging, DR detection based on international clinical standards, and immediate notification, in a single office visit during regular examination of a diabetic patient. Once the patient’s fundus images have been captured and subjected to eye art AI System, DR detection results are available in a PDF report in less than 30 seconds.

The eye art AI System was developed with funding from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is validated by the UK National Health Service (NHS). In addition to 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the eye art AI System has CE marking as a class 2a medical device in the European Union and a license from Health Canada. It is designed to be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

The eye art AI System is reimbursable by government and private payers in the United States under the new Category 1 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code 92229.

VIDEO: Learn more about the eye art AI system for autonomous detection of diabetic retinopathy

Media contacts:

Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada:

Alison Byczok
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications
Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada
[email protected]

michelle hillman
Todd Stein Communications
[email protected]



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