Director of Strategic Communications

VisionQuest Biomedical research scientist Jeff Wigdahl (PhD) was recently awarded a quarter-of-a-million-dollar Phase I grant from the National Institutes of Health for his project to revolutionize the BIO exam: “EyeStar-BIO: Software for Enhancing Digital Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscopy Examinations.”

How to Revolutionize the BIO Exam

Popularized in the 1940s, binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy (BIO) is now routinely used by doctors to perform eye exams in the clinic. However, this method produces no photographic or video record of findings. In recent years, digital BIO headsets that incorporate a camera have been brought to market, but they provide no additional analytical tools.

A traditional BIO exam produces only a handwritten record, whereas an EyeStar-BIO exam produces an easily shareable digital record that facilitates quantitative disease tracking.

VisionQuest’s EyeStar-BIO will revolutionize digital BIO by adding much-needed analytical capabilities: automatic condensing lens detection, image quality assessment, image stitching, longitudinal analysis, and artificial intelligence–based retinal disease detection. These features allow doctors to digitally record and automatically analyze exam results, as well as visually present results to patients. EyeStar-BIO ensures consistently high-quality care, improves medicolegal documentation, and quantifies disease progression—all of which are challenging with traditional handwritten notes. The device will also help doctors to perform difficult neonatal retinal exams (retinopathy of prematurity, or ROP) and share diagnoses with neonatal intensive care unit staff and parents in real time.

The image-stitching process includes scanning frames to crop the lens (left); grouping images by time stamp and stitching these to form one super-image per group (middle); and finally, stitching the super-images to form the final mosaic (right).

Collaborating with Market Leaders

Over the course of the grant, VisionQuest will collaborate with BIO market leader Keeler Ltd. to integrate EyeStar-BIO into their new generation of digital ophthalmoscopes.

“We are excited to be supporting VisionQuest on this research project,” says Keerthighaan “KK” Kanagasegar, senior product manager at Keeler. “In this digital age, binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy is a prime area for innovation. With this grant, there is increasing potential to offer customers cutting-edge retinal imaging and analytics to better serve their patients.”

“Serving health-care providers and their patients is our primary objective,” adds VisionQuest founder and CEO Peter Soliz (PhD). “We look forward to working with Keeler to improve the tools available to physicians and the outcomes of their patients.”

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Director of Strategic Communications

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