The prevalence of diabetes is rising globally (422 million people in 2014), with the sharpest increase in low- and middle-income countries, where it has more than doubled since 1980.
75% of people with diabetes will develop some form of DR in their lifetime, and it will affect poorest people the most. Without access to effective diabetic retinopathy screening (DRS) programmes with follow-up advice and treatment, millions of people will go blind from this preventable disease.
Existing fundus cameras are typically complex and expensive (£20,000-50,000) desktop systems.
To be of benefit, first and foremost any camera must deliver high quality images, suitable for grading and able to resolve very small microaneurysms.
The device must be affordable for a developing healthcare environment; it should be robust, small and portable. It should be usable by minimally-trained staff and must enable telemedicine and remote diagnosis.
Epipole developed the epiCam to be appropriate for the realities of healthcare in developing economies.
It can resolve features just 9 microns across. It meets ISO10940, the international standard for fundus cameras, yet weighs only 170g. It connects to a laptop or tablet. It shoots video for real-time examination and saves easily shared images.
It costs just £1,500.
A team of optics, imaging and eyecare experts led by Dr Craig Robertson, Epipole is creating and deploying cutting edge technology at a revolutionary price point.
Based in Scotland, UK, Epipole's products take on diseases that cause preventable blindness, wherever they occur in the world.