Simple and affordable retinal diagnostics at home for improved and personalized AMD treatment. 

Facts & Back­ground information

Simple and affordable retinal diagnostics at home for improved and personalized AMD treatment. 

Facts & Back­ground information

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AMD is the leading cause of blindness 

Age-relat­ed mac­u­lar degen­er­a­tion (AMD) is a dis­ease that is the lead­ing cause of blind­ness in devel­oped coun­tries [2]. It affects the retina’s point of sharpest vision, the mac­u­la. A dis­tinc­tion is made between the ear­ly (dry) form of AMD and the acute (wet) form that is devel­oped by around 15% of the patients [1]. While the dry form pro­gress­es only very slow­ly, it some­times evolves into the wet form which pro­gress­es inter­mit­tent­ly and, if left untreat­ed, leads to a loss of cen­tral visu­al acuity.

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How many people are affected? 

Age-relat­ed mac­u­lar degen­er­a­tion accounts for 8.7% of all blind­ness world­wide and is the most com­mon cause of blind­ness in devel­oped coun­tries [2]. In Ger­many, for instance, AMD is by far the most fre­quent cause of blind­ness with 49.8% [3]. While the wet AMD accounts for around 15% of all AMD cas­es, it is respon­si­ble for 80% of all vision loss caused by AMD [1].

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Is there a treatment for AMD? 

For sev­er­al years, wet AMD can be effec­tive­ly treat­ed using VEGF inhibitors, which are inject­ed into the eye. How­ev­er, this treat­ment needs to be repeat­ed. Opti­cal Coher­ence Tomog­ra­phy (OCT) is used to acquire three‑dimensional images of the reti­na, which help to deter­mine whether an injec­tion is necessary.

AMD in Homecare

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How are we improving AMD treatment? 

We have devel­oped a solu­tion that enables auto­mat­ed inspec­tion of the reti­na with a com­pact, afford­able, and sim­ple-to-use device. This allows the patient to reg­u­lar­ly check whether dis­ease activ­i­ty is present. If nec­es­sary, the patient is sent to the oph­thal­mol­o­gist for treat­ment. This pre­vents under­treat­ment and the con­se­quent loss of vision.

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What prevented this approach until now? 

Cur­rent OCT sys­tems are bulky, expen­sive, and are only used by trained per­son­nel. Thus, they are most­ly used in hos­pi­tals or doc­tors’ offices, where a reg­u­lar dai­ly or even week­ly check for every patient is not feasible.

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Our home care OCT technology 

We have devel­oped pro­pri­etary OCT tech­nol­o­gy that is based on a full-field approach [4, 5]. This tech­nol­o­gy enables build­ing small and cheap hand­held devices which can be used by patients to diag­nose the reti­na by press­ing a sin­gle but­ton and look­ing into the device. Our tech­nol­o­gy is patent­ed: [6, 7, 8, 9].

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What others say about it

Please find state­ments and com­mens of impor­tant sources below.

Com­ment of the the Asso­ci­a­tion for Research in Vision and Oph­thal­mol­o­gy
(Claus von der Burchard/UKSH Kiel, Dr. Claude Burgoyne/ARVO Pres­i­dent 2018):

Sources

[1]
Kaschke, Michael ; Don­ner­hacke, Karl-Heinz ; Rill, Michael S.: Opti­cal
Devices in Oph­thal­mol­o­gy and Optom­e­try: Tech­nol­o­gy, Design Prin­ci­ples and
Clin­i­cal Appli­ca­tions. Wiley-VCH, 2014

[2]
Wan Ling Wong, et.al., Glob­al preva­lence of age-relat­ed mac­u­lar degen­er­a­tion and dis­ease bur­den pro­jec­tion for 2020 and 2040: A sys­tem­at­ic review and meta-analy­sis, The Lancet, Vol 2 Feb­ru­ary 2014, p.106–16

[3]
Fin­ger, R.P. et.al., Inci­dence of blind­ness and severe visu­al impair­ment in Ger­many, Invest Opthal­mol Vis Sci, 2011, 52(7); p. 4381–9

[4]
Sud­kamp, Helge ; Koch, Peter ; Spahr, Hen­drik ; Hill­mann, Dier­ck ;
Franke, Gesa ; Münst, Michael ; Rein­holz, Fred ; Birn­gru­ber, Regi­nald ; Hüttmann, Gere­on: In-vivo reti­nal imag­ing with off-axis full-field
time-domain opti­cal coher­ence tomog­ra­phy. Vol. 41, No. 21 / Novem­ber 1 2016 / Optics Letters

[5]
Sud­kamp, Helge ; Hill­mann, Dier­ck ; Koch, Peter ; Vom Endt, Malte ; Spahr, Hen­drik ; 
 Münst, Michael ; Pfäf­fle, Clara ; Birn­gru­ber, Regi­nald ; Hüttmann, Gere­on: Sim­ple approach for aber­ra­tion-cor­rect­ed OCT
imag­ing of the human reti­na. Vol. 43, No. 17 / 1 Sep­tem­ber 2018 / Optics Letters

[6]
Hen­drik Spahr ; Helge Sud­kamp ; Gere­on Hüttmann ; Peter Koch ; Gesa Franke ; Dier­ck Hill­mann ; Regi­nald Birn­gru­ber. Ver­fahren und Vor­rich­tung zum Ablicht­en wenig­stens ein­er Schnit­tfläche im Innern eines Licht streuen­den Objek­ts. DE102015113465A1.

[7]
Hill­mann, Dier­ck ; Hüttmann, Gere­on ; Koch, Peter ; Spahr, Hen­drik ; Sud­kamp, Helge. Vor­rich­tung zur oph­thal­mol­o­gis­chen Blick­fix­ierung für Patien­ten mit beliebiger Sehschärfe. DE102017129951B3.

[8]
Hill­mann, Dier­ck ; Hüttmann, Gere­on ; Koch, Peter ; Spahr, Hen­drik ; Sud­kamp, Helge. Ver­fahren zum Ablicht­en ein­er Sequenz von Schnit­tflächen im Innern eines Licht streuen­den Objek­ts mit verbessert­er Abtas­tung. DE102018106292B3.

[9]
Hill­mann, Dier­ck ; Hüttmann, Gere­on ; Koch, Peter ; Michael Münst ; Spahr, Hen­drik ; Sud­kamp, Helge. Full-Field OCT-Ver­fahren und –Sys­tem zum Erzeu­gen ein­er Abbil­dung eines Augen­hin­ter­grunds. EP000003517021A1.

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