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HomeminewsEyetelligence CEO Heads Down Under to O=MEGA23

Eyetelligence CEO Heads Down Under to O=MEGA23

Jeff Dunkel, CEO Eytelligence

Jeff Dunkel, the new head of Eyetelligence – an Australian-made healthtech company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology and retinal imaging to screen for eye and systemic diseases – will visit Australia from the United States to attend O=MEGA23 in September.

Mr Dunkel is eager to meet eye care professionals and talk to them about plans to expand the utility of Eyetelligence within Australia and around the globe.

Coming from a strong history of medical innovation, he described Eyetelligence as the world’s “premier company” in medical AI, one that is “driving the science historically

Based on the inventions of Professor Mingguang He, a leading clinician-scientist at the University of Melbourne and the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Eyetelligence has potential to make a significant difference to the eye health outcomes of people in developed and developing countries, according to Mr Dunkel.

Already it is being used by approximately 100 clinics in Australia (both optometry and ophthalmology) to support decision making on diagnoses and treatment plans for glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. In the United States, ophthalmologists are using Eyetelligence as the company works through regulatory requirements.

Investing in Expansion and Support

Mr Dunkel, who has a wealth of experience in commercialising innovation and is an advisor to the Whitehouse, was installed as Chief Executive Officer of Optain – the brand name for Eyetelligence in the United States – earlier this month. His appointment followed a capital injection of AU$18 million by the New York-based healthtech company Ascertain.

Describing Eyetelligence as the world’s “premier company” in medical AI, Mr Dunkel said the company is “driving the science historically”.

Acknowledging the numerous companies around the world working on AI, including fundus AI, he said it was the “foundation of good science”, the reputation of the individuals who had “created that science”, it’s potential to help clinicians improve patient care, and feedback from clinicians using the technology that made Eyetelligence an attractive investment proposition.

“Sometimes things cross your desk, and you look at it and you say, ‘Well, that’s a real game changer’. Other times something crosses your desk, and you say, ‘Well, that’s really nice to have and that’s really cool, but I can’t envision how that’s going to change lives’,” he told mivision.

“When the Eyetelligence product crossed my desk, we started having conversations about coming in to help lead this team, which was already full of leaders… how do we make sure that we deliver the best possible product to clinicians to help improve patient care?”

Investing in Future Development

In the few weeks since being appointed CEO, Mr Dunkel said he had taken time to speak with users of Eyetelligence technology in Australia and the US about the potential product development and support.

“An investment from Ascertain comes in the form of fiscal dollars and expertise. So, we can look at that and say at the macro level, we’re increasing the support around the product line, we’re adding new personnel with new degrees of expertise, and we’re reinforcing and supporting more scientific growth.

“At the practitioner level, what does that mean? It means continued enhancement improvement over time. It translates to additional resources… We’ve hired five more people in the last two weeks.

“So, when you think about scale and when you think about opportunity, taking care of customers, putting the right individuals in place for a company to be successful and a product to be successful, is a big part of it. Then, behind the scenes, it’s about what’s happening on the things that you don’t see, and that’s product advancements, that’s new disease state focusses, that’s development of new business strategic collaborations. All of those are going on behind the scenes.”

You can meet Mr Dunkel and explore the Eyetelligence technology at booth 12 at O=MEGA23, in Melbourne from 7–9 September.

To book an appointment, visit: calendly.com/eyetelligence