DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – Lumedica Inc., a privately held company, focused on improving access to eye care by creating low-cost, high performance, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) systems for research and clinical applications, received a $1M Phase II NIH-NEI SBIR grant in order to continue system and product development. OCT is considered the gold standard for early detection of Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy and Glaucoma, all of which can occur without symptoms. When these diseases are detected early — such as with OCT — they can be managed without patients losing their vision.
“We are grateful for the ongoing support from the NIH-NEI, said Principal Investigator and Lumedica’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. William Brown. “OCT technology is already a valuable screening tool for many ophthalmologists and optometrists in the U.S. Sadly, the high cost of current commercially available systems has kept it out of the hands of most the world’s eye care providers and patients. We’re going to change that.”
Collaborating with the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, Lumedica has demonstrated that its system is highly effective at a more affordable price point while enabling providers greater clinical flexibility. The Phase II grant will allow Lumedica to further develop a device for the clinical market.
OCT is the light-equivalent to sonar, in that it sends out a signal, which is then reflected back into the system, allowing distance to be measured between layers of tissue or other surfaces. To date, its most valuable application is in the imaging of the layers of the retina, where eye diseases that cause blindness are found.
Lumedica is comprised of believers and builders of affordable healthcare technologies. With a proven track record in scientific innovation and product development, Lumedica creates affordable light-based scientific and medical instruments that deliver accurate diagnostic results. Leveraging off-the-shelf and custom imaging components, Lumedica is able to make diagnostic devices cheaper, more durable, and easier to distribute. Our first initiative is building a novel, patented device to administer OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) technology — the gold standard for retinal imaging — to detect chronic, asymptomatic eye diseases. The company was founded in 2014 based on research conducted at Duke University’s BIOS Laboratory. Other technologies and innovations are in the development pipeline.
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