Devlyn Optical eyes AI as diagnostic tool

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Devlyn Optical eyes AI as diagnostic tool

By Dan Berthiaume - 06/08/2020

An optical retailer will test an artificial intelligence (AI)-based telemedicine solution to prevent diabetes-related blindness.

Devlyn Optical, a U.S. spin-off of multinational optical retailer Grupo Devlyn, is collaborating with medical technology and services company Eyenuk Inc. to pilot diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening and telemedicine technologies. One in four U.S. diabetes patients will develop diabetic retinopathy. Ophthalmologists have effective treatments for diabetic retinopathy, but they work best when the condition is caught early during annual eye screening exams.

Traditional DR screening methods require prolonged and close contact between an individual and an eyecare professional, which makes it hard to maintain social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Eyenuk EyeScreen Human+AI Diagnostic Service is an AI-enabled telemedicine approach to disease detection where eye image interpretation is conducted by a human grader and AI remotely. 

After an individual’s retinal images are captured at a Devlyn optical store, images will be independently assessed by both the AI disease detection system and specialist human graders separately and remotely, and then a medical coding-compliant report is generated. In the event that the AI and human graders disagree, the images are adjudicated by another professional remotely.

Devlyn and Eyenuk will start the DR screening pilot in Los Angeles. Both companies expect to expand their collaboration in the future through geographic expansion, screening for additional eye diseases such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, and utilizing AI-based eye screening technologies at mobile and kiosk-based locations.

“Devlyn Optical has a long tradition of offering high quality, innovative and convenient vision care in multiple countries,” said Jesse W. Devlyn Jr., CEO of Devlyn Optical LLC. “There is a growing need for diabetic eye care in communities we serve, and Devlyn can offer much better DR screening service right inside our optical stores. With this exciting collaboration with Eyenuk, Devlyn will be able to expand our service from vision care to diabetes-related eye care, in a convenient and safe manner for both people with diabetes and eye care professionals.”

Devlyn Optical is a family-owned, multinational optical retailer with operations in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and the U.S, with over 1,200 retail locations, including four stores in Texas and California.