oDocs Eye Care, a Dunedin based social enterprise, will receive $125,000 in funding and technical support to develop its free teleophthalmology platform in collaboration with MedicMind.
The company is one of four winners selected from more than 200 submissions to receive New Zealand’s inaugural Spark 5G Starter Fund.
oDocs’ free teleophthalmology platform is designed in New Zealand for the world, with a mission to end preventable blindness
oDocs’ free teleophthalmology platform is designed in New Zealand for the world, with a mission to end preventable blindness.
Using 5G technology, it enables remote consultations and education, including tele-retinal and tele-slit lamp examination; and a deep learning development platform using artificial intelligence to empower clinical diagnoses.
In a statement oDocs said, “With the COVID-19 pandemic, over 90% of eye care globally came to a halt. The close proximity nature of eye examination has made the specialty vulnerable to both treating physicians and patients.
However, during the same period, telehealth appointments in all specialties have risen tremendously.
“The use of telehealth services in eye care is limited due to the nature of the specialty which is highly dependent on clinical findings, ophthalmic findings, and images.
“The fund will allow us to investigate the use of teleophthalmology in New Zealand and Australia. We can then identify existing use case, benefits, disadvantages, and risks associated with its use. This will then be used as a case for building a novel NZ-based telehealth portal for eye care. The portal will be equipped with ophthalmic imaging and diagnostic tools which would allow clinicians to better visualize the patients eye and perform basic eye assessment virtually.”
oDocs Eye Care is one of the four innovative New Zealand businesses to share in a $625,000 funding along with access to co-lab and mentoring and support from spark.