By the year 2030, 18 million people around the world will go blind due to diabetic retinopathy.
16 million of these cases can be prevented.
Diabetes has rapidly become one of the largest threats to human health. The global prevalence of diabetes, currently 285 million, is expected to grow to over 435 million by the year 2030, with the most significant increase occurring in developing countries. More than 70% of diabetic patients now live in low- and middle-income countries.
Unfortunately, close to 40% of these patients will go on to develop diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease that if life undiagnosed and untreated can cause blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the tiny blood vessels of the retina due to chronic hyperglycemia, and affects nearly all patients with type I diabetes and up to 80% of patients with type II diabetes.
As retinopathy progresses over time, it can cause sudden vision loss (even overnight) without warning and before a patient is able to seek a medical intervention. By the time vision loss has occurred, people have such advanced stages of disease that a cure is no longer possible.
Diabetic retinopathy is increasingly becoming a major cause of blindness throughout the world. In the United States, it is already the leading cause of adult blindness 24-70 years of age. In India, it has jumped from the 17th to the 6th leading cause of blindness in twenty years. While most individuals affected with diabetic retinopathy in developed countries are elderly, the majority of subjects in developing countries are younger (46-64 years of age). The associated loss of productivity and quality of life for the patient with diabetic retinopathy inevitably leads to major socioeconomic burdens on communities and healthcare systems.
Despite these harrowing statistics, 90% of Diabetic retinopathy-related vision loss can be prevented with proper monitoring and timely treatment. However, lack of access to eye care and costly screening cameras have served as major logistic and economic barriers, with US screening rates less than 50% and global screening rates significantly below that. Where screening programs have been implemented, current screening cameras only document less than 1/8 th of the retina in which diabetic retinopathy is most likely to occur. More importantly, the retinal periphery where diabetic retinopathy often first develops usually lies outside the field of view of conventional cameras.
At RetiVue, our goal is to substantially reduce the threat of blindness in all diabetic patients, wherever they are in the world. Our solution involves creating innovative retinal screening technologies that can image into the retinal periphery to document the earliest signs of diabetic eye disease. We have strived to enable this improved visualization all the while maintaining device affordability and ease of use so our technology can be used by anyone, anywhere, to screen every diabetic patient around the world.