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Industrial and commercial development for portable equipment for retina diagnosis controlled by smartphone

Grant number: 18/04866-6
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: October 01, 2019 - March 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Biomedical Engineering
Cooperation agreement: FINEP - PIPE/PAPPE Grant
Principal Investigator:Flávio Pascoal Vieira
Grantee:Flávio Pascoal Vieira
Company:Phelcom Technologies Ltda. - ME
City: São Carlos
Associated research grant:16/00985-5 - Portable equipment for retina diagnosis controlled by smartphone, AP.PIPE
Associated grant(s):19/10826-0 - Industrial and commercial development for portable equipment for retina diagnosis controlled by smartphone, AP.PIPE

Abstract

Visual health is a constant theme of high relevance both in the context of public policy-making and in private initiatives for health promotion. The relevance of the theme is due to the high and growing number of blind or low vision people, which in the world reaches 285 million people. It is noteworthy that 80% of cases of blindness could be avoided, but this does not occur due to the lack of access to diagnostic and treatment procedures, lack of ophthalmologists and poor equipment supply. The vast majority of available equipment is expensive and concentrated in large urban centers, since low volume operation makes them unfeasible. As the equipment is not easily transportable, patients invariably have to travel to health centers or specialized clinics, making treatment difficult and reducing prevention.This situation is especially critical in developing countries that concentrate 90% of the visually impaired. Data from Brazil indicate that 85% of the cities do not have ophthalmological services, and our previous work has evidenced in the field exactly such reality, especially in small cities in which the unattended population needs to move to specialty centers. Proposals that bring mobility and enable point-of-care diagnosis are in phase of pilot tests in several initiatives and this is the scenario that we propose this research project.With the goal of democratizing access to technologies for the diagnosis of eye diseases, we intend to continue the research and development that is being conducted at Phelcom to industrialize and commercialize the first portable, non-mydriatic and smartphone-controlled retinal camera. A prototype of the product, called SRC, Smart Retinal Camera, is in advanced stage of development in the company and is being validated clinically. The project obtained a PIPE phase 2 funding (2016 / 00985-5) and also, in the year 2017, a funding in the Program of Promotion of the Creative Economy, realized by Samsung in partnership with Anprotec.It is important to emphasize that the non-mydriatic operation that we are incorporating into the product will allow retinal examinations without the need of eye drops for pupil dilation. In this way, because of the high connectivity of the equipment, it will actually enable the teleophthalmology since it will not be necessary for a physician to be present at the exam location. In addition, the device will be the first with embedded intelligent functions for the screening and pre-diagnosis of retinal diseases.Therefore the proposed equipment is characterized as a worldwide technological innovation. From its use, the main causes of irreversible blindness - glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy - can be quickly detected, speeding up treatment, increasing prevention and helping improve the quality of life and health of the population. (AU)