Sight-saving ophthalmic technology from OKKO Health particularly benefits isolated patients
28th May 2020
A UK-based Digital Health company has launched a new app which enables eye professionals to remotely monitor their patients’ eye health. OKKO Health launched the software on May 28th 2020. It uses the sensors already present in smartphones to measure key visual indicators, beyond those of a basic eye chart.
The OKKO Health App can now be prescribed to patients by ophthalmologists and optometrists. The app is paired with a secure web-based clinical portal, through which doctors can access the readings and identify the patients that need in-person appointments.
Developed by vision scientists, optometrists and ophthalmologists, the OKKO Health app is the first product launched by the start-up. It comes in the form of a simple video game, downloaded as an app onto iPhones (an android version is currently in development). In the game, patients tap on visual cues and anomalies in patterns. Though these seemingly simple interactions, the software derives visual acuity and sensitivity to contrast reliably and remotely. This is particularly important now that many eye consultations are taking place via video-calling. Measurements performed by the smartphone are then analysed over time to give valuable insights to the stability a variety of eye conditions, including diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration. These insights can then provide an early warning system, flagging those patients that need urgent medical intervention.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) estimates that over two million people are living with significant sight loss in the UK. It predicts this figure could double to over four million by 2050 and that, with early detection and treatment, over 50 per cent of this sight loss could be avoided. (Link to source)
The app has met the necessary standards to be a CE-marked medical device, and OKKO Health are certified by British Standards for the development and manufacture of software to monitor vision.
Speaking of the launch, OKKO’s CEO and Founder, Dr Stephanie Campbell, said “It’s always going to be a key moment of a start-up to launch its flagship product. We’ve spent the past 4 years developing and protecting the technology behind this app. We're proud to have built something which can meet the needs of clinicians more fully than anything previously available. We never imagined we would be launching this product in the middle of a pandemic. But, we’re optimistic about the positive impact that this software will have on the most vulnerable groups of patients. With our app they can now track key indicators of their eye health from the safety of their own homes. I have no doubt this technology will be a sight-saver for many.”
Notes to editors
OKKO Health has developed smartphone software for accurate remote monitoring of eye health outside of ophthalmology clinics. This hardware-free solution runs as a simple video game app for ophthalmology patients to play at home, using the sensors in the phone to accurately measure features of their vision. For patients, this means that eye health can be tracked between in-person clinic visits, and ultimately will lead to personalised and remote care. For eye specialists, this innovation brings viable tele-health to the ophthalmology space. The company was founded by Dr Stephanie Campbell, a senior NHS eye specialist and researcher. It has been backed by pharmaceutical giant Bayer under its G4A Digital Health Partnerships programme and is a member of Digital Health London’s Launchpad Programme. OKKO Health is the trading name of Okulo Limited. It is headquartered in Bristol, UK.