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Technology Development & Commercialisation Office

Technology Portfolio - Diagnostics

Some ophthalmic conditions, such as primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and diabetic retinopathy (DR), are subclinical at the early stages, and patients typically do not report their symptoms until the disease has progressed and the effects have become more severe. Currently, screening for glaucoma and DR is based on a number of examinations which are costly and difficult to implement on a community level. Thus, there is a need for a simple and cost-efficient method to detect and screen for these conditions reliably and on a large scale.

The Technology
Our pupilometer-based device can be used to evaluate visual function by measuring the pupillary light reflex, and so can objectively detect and monitor conditions affecting the retina and optic nerve, including POAG and DR.

Target Market
The current market size for retina dysfunction screening, inclusive of glaucoma and DR-related diagnostic equipment inclusive of ophthalmoscopes, perimeters, tonometers and fundus cameras is approximately US$430 million. We foresee that the addressable market size for retinal dysfunction screening is at least as large as the market size of similar diagnostic equipment, and possibly larger, if the technology is employed beyond the hospital and clinic settings.

Current Stage of Development
We have carried out clinical validation based on a lab prototype and shown the close correlation between pupillary light reflex and different stage of glaucoma and DR. A handheld pupilometer (beta protototype) has been designed and developed to cater for the needs, including low cost eye screening in the community centre or in remote areas, as well as for comprehensive eye examinations in eye hospital or clinics.

Categories: Devices, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma

Intellectual Property:

  1. A method and system for monitoring and/or assessing pupillary responses, (PCT/SG2017/050305) National phase application filing in US (US15536199, Pending); EU (EP20150870472, Pending); China (CN 201580069231, Pending)
  2. Hand held ophthalmic and neurological screening device, PCT/SG2018/050204.

Gonioscopy, which is the imaging of the iridocorneal angle, is used in the diagnosis of both closed- and open-angle glaucoma, as well as during glaucoma surgery. However, current gonioscopes come with several drawbacks: using such devices causes patient discomfort and must be carried out by an eye specialist, so only 50% of patients undergo the examination. When used to assist surgery, the large contact base increases the chances of infection and can impede the surgeon.

The Technology
The GonioPEN is a small, handheld probe that provides greater convenience and efficiency in angle imaging. It requires less expertise to operate than a conventional gonioscope, and the inclusion of a recording function allows later evaluation by an eye specialist or an automated diagnostic software. A smaller area of contact with the eye results in reduced patient discomfort and presents a smaller obstruction during surgery.

Target Market
With the ageing global population and rising prevalence of ophthalmic conditions, glaucoma is expected to affect 80 million people by 2020. With several advantages over conventional gonioscopes, the GonioPEN is a superior alternative for use in both diagnosis and treatment.

Current Stage of Development
We have developed a pen-sized probe (called GonioPEN) which causes no discomfort. The team has completed several rounds of prototype iterations and a clinical trial with 100 patients. The latest prototype produces high resolution (1080p) images and videos. The images taken from the clinical are of high quality for diagnosis. An early machine learning model is trained with images from the clinical trial.

Categories: Devices, Glaucoma, Diagnostics

Intellectual Property: 

  1. Probe for iridocorneal angle imaging, PCT/SG2015/050341; National phase application is granted in US (US15514422, Granted); and Japan (JP2017516287A, Granted); and pending in EU (EP20150843466, Pending)