Spect, a provider of end-to-end eye disease screening solutions, has received $ 3.5 million in serial seed funding, led by Morado Ventures, XTX Ventures, 10X and AME Cloud.
The company’s AI-powered mobile telemedicine platform helps clinicians capture retinal images and detect vision-threatening eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – at a dramatically reduced cost by using physician assistants and nurse practitioners in primary and home care.
This allows screenings to be performed in much less time and money compared to consulting an ophthalmologist (such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist).
Mike Ricci, CEO and co-founder of Spect, noted that the eye is the light of the body’s controlling engine.
“Retinal screening can prevent diabetic retinopathy and give early warnings for heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s,” he explained. “Unfortunately, despite this, people skip their annual eye exams because it’s expensive and inconvenient.”
This is a trend which, according to Ricci, must stop.
“Spect resolves the pain points of today’s retinal exam so that millions of patients can and will get the preventive care they need,” he said.
Spect brings eye care to primary care, benefiting:
- Patients: Spect improves patient health by making it easier to receive vital eye screenings. It also reduces time spent in the doctor’s office, allowing an annual eye screening procedure to be performed in one visit, instead of having to schedule additional follow-ups.
- Clinics: Clinics can provide better in-house patient care, without the need for a referral; and Spect improves the quality of care measures.
- Ophthalmologists: Spect allows physicians to focus on treatment rather than performing screening tests.
- Payers: Vision-threatening diseases are detected earlier and treated with minor procedures, as opposed to expensive surgery and drug treatments down the line.
Diabetes affects nearly a third of the American population, and many are affected by related health complications. Diabetic retinopathy is currently the leading cause of vision loss in American adults, affecting the lives of millions of people, but preventable with regular eye exams. Despite this, 60% of US patients skip their annual eye exams due to a lack of availability for appointments and a severe shortage of retinal specialists, making visits expensive. Spect is well positioned to fill this critical healthcare gap as its technology makes treatment more affordable and accessible at the point of care.
How it works
Spect’s platform creates a frictionless workflow that enables healthcare workers to achieve results in three minutes or less with image gradability greater than 95%.
- Spectral Imaging Device: Observation offices receive a small, portable, easy-to-use device that physicians can carry in their pocket
- Spect Telemedicine Platform: Spect-trained specialists can guide clinicians on using the Spect device, enabling seamless home testing options
- Spect Retinal Image Grader: Spect’s AI-enabled platform analyzes results in minutes, instead of days
- Spect dataset: Over 1.5 million images captured to date are on the platform and this dataset continues to grow
- Spect Business Model: Spect uses a SaaS licensing model, and there is no upfront cost or customer support
“Spect has tremendous power to scale using artificial intelligence,” Ash Patel, founding partner of Morado Ventures, said in a statement. “Someday Spect will be in our medicine cabinets at home, without needing a specialist to perform an exam.”
Theodore Leng, MD, research director at Stanford’s Byers Eye Institute and co-founder of Spect, noted that the implications of the technology and the company’s data set go far beyond diagnosing retinopathy. diabetic, because the retina tells a lot more to doctors. on human health.
“The team is creating an evolutionary new way to diagnose the diseases that afflict billions of people around the world,” he said in a statement.