DigiSight launches smartphone ophthalmic camera, Android screening app

By Jonah Comstock
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DigiSightDigiSight Technologies has launched a new version of its smartphone-based eyesight test and a new offering called Scope, a hardware-software combined system that allows a medical professional to use the smartphone camera to photograph the back and front of the patient's eye.

Formerly, DigiSight offered an iOS app called Sightbook that delivered at-home vision screening using an iPhone app. It was piloted at UCLA in 2014. Now the company has built on that work to create a new app, added the hardware/software offering and is working on a data analytics platform. It's retooled all these offerings into a three-product suite called Paxos.

The app, which will now be available on Android as well as iOS, will be called Paxos Checkup. Although it has clinical value, and each of the tests are FDA registered as Class 1 devices, CEO Doug Foster told MobiHealthNews that the primary use case right now is for clinical trials.

"If you want to create data in between office examinations, there isn’t a standard way to do that today," he said. "If you want to do a visual acuity data point on a daily basis or a weekly basis, you’d need to do an office examination to create that data. Whereas today for many clinical studies, that data simply doesn’t exist."

scope-1Paxos Scope is a lens attachment that turns the smartphone camera into a combination anterior-posterior ophthalmic camera, which means it can photograph both the back and the front of the eye. Scope is listed with the FDA as a Class II 510(k) exempt device. Unlike the at-home vision tests, the Scope test requires dilation and has to be done by a medical professional. But the smartphone both allows for portability and for a lower price point than non-smartphone options ($299 for the hardware plus a subscription fee for the software).

Correction: A previous version said the device had FDA clearance, rather than being exempt.

"Our system, to our knowledge, is the only combined anterior-posterior device," Foster said. "So you can create high quality images of both the front and the back of the eye. In addition, the images in the back of the eye have a 50 to 60 degree range of view, which we believe is the widest field of view and, to our knowledge, our system is the lowest price too. So we feel it’s a better quality. We think based on those factors it’s a compelling offer."

Scope has been field tested at 10 hospitals in Nepal as part of a partnership between DigiSight and the Himalayan Cataract Project, a non-profit organization.

Paxos Analytics, the third part of the suite, will be a software offering for clinical trial investigators using the other two products, which will enable them to see realtime data and insights.

DigiSight picked up $7.8 million in funding in February from Biosys Capital, Waycross Ventures, GE Ventures, and Lagunita.