On February 02, 2021 Diagnos (ADK.V) announced that it will be deploying its AI medical test for retina analysis at the Enayah Mobile Smart Eye Clinics in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with its Saudi business partner, Kanhoor Medical.
DIAGNOS specialises in early detection of health problems based on its FLAIRE artificial intelligence (AI) platform.
The FLAIRE platform in used in applications such as CARA (Computer Assisted Retina Analysis).
CARA’s artificial intelligence-based image enhancement algorithms provide sharper, clearer, retinal images that can then be analyzed̀ for anomalies.
Enayah is a humanitarian organisation intent on providing healthcare workers and lower income patients with quality healthcare. Its fleet of vans will increase accessibility to eye care for communities and patients with reduced mobility.
“For almost three years, Enayah has been using DIAGNOS’ AI based CARA platform successfully to screen thousands of diabetic patients for diabetic retinopathy with an early detection test,” reported Dr. Salman Abdullah Al-Mutairi, Executive Director of Enayah.
“The early stages of retinal damage from diabetes are called non-proliferative retinopathy,” explains Health Link BC, “First, tiny blood vessels called capillaries in the retina develop weakened areas in their walls called microaneurysms.”
“When red blood cells escape through these weakened walls, tiny amounts of bleeding (hemorrhage) become visible when the retina is viewed through an instrument called an ophthalmoscope”.
“By using DIAGNOS’ telemedicine solution we have been able to identify patients needing care early so their vision can be saved,” added Dr. Salman Abdullah Al-Mutairi, “As part of our ‘Combating Blindness’ program, we are pleased to extend this service and add it to other tests in our fleet of vans of Mobile Smart Eye Clinics.”
This mobile diagnostic service, delivered from a fleet of vans underlines one of CARA’s major attributes: the hardware it depends on is relatively cheap. You can buy an ophthalmoscope on-line for $2,800.
“The retina, the back part of the eye, is the only area of the body where doctors can easily see the condition of arteries and veins without invasive procedures,” explains AV Press, “Early detection of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) in the retinas of diabetes patients signals a warning that the same problem is occurring in coronary arteries. This is why the retina is called, “the window to the heart”.
Diagnos’ technology can inform a patient that she is at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
There are 200,000 optometrists in the world, and each one of them is capable of collecting the images Diagnos needs to run its A.I diagnostics.
“Diabetes is the largest cause of vision loss in the world and accessibility to an eye test such as this is one of the most important factors contributing to early diagnosis and treatment,” confirmed Yves-Stéphane Couture, Vice President of Sales for DIAGNOS, “We applaud Dr. Salman’s initiative to bring eye screening to remote communities with mobile clinics”.
Why did Diagnos go to Saudia Arabia?
For the same reason surfers go to Bali.
That’s where the action is.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that Saudi Arabia ranks the second highest in the Middle East, and is seventh in the world for the rate of diabetes,” states Pub Med Gov, “It is estimated that around 7 million Saudi Arabians are diabetic and almost around 3 million have pre-diabetes.”
On February 2, 2021 Equity Guru’s Jody Vance spoke with DIAGNOS President & CEO Andre Larente about ADK’s development pipeline.
“In a big hospital, you’ll have a department that takes care of diabetics and a department that looks after ophthalmology,” Larente explained to Vance,
“We triage the patients at the G.P (General Practitioner) level,” added Larente, “By doing this we can cut the line-up of patients waiting to see the specialist by 65-70%.”
“We salute this new innovative engagement from Enayah and their contribution to bring care to remote communities and to patients with reduced mobility,” stated Abdul-Aziz Rashid Al-Mugait, General Manager of Kanhoor Medical Co.
Over the last 60-months the geographical and technological advancement of Diagnos’ A.I driven diagnostic software has caught the interest of retail investors.
Saudia Arabia is not Diagnos’ only theatre of operation.
On January 19, 2021 Diagnos announced a three-year partnership agreement with the Center Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) on AI projects related to the early detection of various retinal diseases.
The various algorithms developed by DIAGNOS will be used to analyze changes in retinal microcirculation and their impacts on the prevention of complications of cardiovascular disease.
This agreement supports also supports Diagnos’ project to screen diabetic retinopathy with automatic detection assisted by artificial intelligence, launched in June 2018.
“The evaluation and refinement of DIAGNOS technology using artificial intelligence in the early detection of certain diseases by our ophthalmology, endocrinology and now cardiology teams contribute to improving the quality and safety of the care provided to the population,” stated Dr. Fabrice Brunet, President and CEO of CHUM .
According to the clinical trial data, about 10% of adults in Quebec (900,000 people), suffer from diabetes and around 40% of people with diabetes suffer from diabetic retinopathy.
CARA has been approved by a number of regulators, including Canada (Health Canada), the United States (FDA), Mexico (COFEPRIS), Europe (EC) and the Saudi FDA.
“The global diabetes prevalence in 2019 is estimated to be 9.3% (463 million people), rising to 10.2% (578 million) by 2030 and 10.9% (700 million) by 2045,” states The International Diabetes Federation, “One in two (50.1%) people living with diabetes do not know that they have diabetes”.
The diabetes trends in China are particularly alarming.
“China diabetes market reached a value of US$ 4.48 Billion in 2020,” reports iMARC, “The disease has presently reached epidemic proportions in the adult population. Around three decades ago, less than 1% of the Chinese adult population had diabetes. These levels, however, have increased to around 12% – making it the diabetes capital of the world.”
“We have different projects that will allow us to develop several innovations in AI with the analysis of the retina,” stated Larente, “These new developments in early detection of diseases will have a low cost and a non-invasive methodology for patients”.
- Lukas Kane
Full Disclosure: Diagnos is an Equity Guru marketing client