Phelcom Technologies has just launched EyerMaps*, an innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that runs embedded in the portable retinal camera, Eyer, and detects any suspicion of retinal abnormalities with high accuracy.
Within seconds of capturing the photo of the eye’s fundus, if an abnormality is detected, the AI generates a new image with an attention map (heatmap) highlighting potential retinal abnormalities. Synchronized with EyerCloud, Phelcom’s cloud-based system for patient data and exam management, the tool visually classifies captured images and exams based on the probability of abnormality, using colored markers on the images and exams:
- Green: Image or exam with low probability of abnormality (up to 30%);
- Yellow: Image or exam with moderate probability of abnormality (31 to 70%);
- Red: Image or exam with high probability of abnormality (71 to 100%).
Phelcom’s Co-Founder and CTO, Diego Lencione, explains how EyerMaps assists in ophthalmic clinical practice, “It’s important to emphasize that EyerMaps is not intended for diagnosing or referring patients. The system was developed to be a tool that aids the physician in the analysis and investigation of retinal changes, making ophthalmic care more agile and precise. Recognizing that we can all make mistakes, EyerMaps aims to be a tool that assists in detecting any retinal abnormality”.
The AI can assist in detecting diseases such as glaucoma, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, vascular tortuosity, occlusions, papilledema, retinitis pigmentosa, and nevi, among others.
“Minor changes can go unnoticed. And an assisting system like EyerMaps is precisely designed to assist the doctor in early diagnosis,” Lencione points out.
High Sensitivity and Specificity
Lencione shares that EyerMaps is the result of five years of work by Phelcom in the field of artificial intelligence. “Since the foundation of Phelcom, we have maintained high investments in Research and Development. It’s in our DNA. Since 2018, we have been working on the development of EyerMaps, and I believe that one of the main merits of our team was to, after much effort, arrive at a highly accurate AI model that practically runs in real time on the Eyer, utilizing the high processing capacity of smartphones,” he explains.
The results were analyzed and published in various articles, including the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. “In some studies focused on the detection of diabetic retinopathy, we have already achieved sensitivity and specificity with EyerMaps above 90%,” Lencione affirms.
Phelcom’s Co-Founder and CTO emphasizes the importance of imaging and investigating the retina, not only for visual health but also for its power to reveal systemic, neurological, cardiac diseases, and more. “We created Eyer so that the retina can be more analyzed and studied by doctors, as we believe in the benefits this can bring to our society. When I see that nearly two million people have already been examined with Eyer, and some of them also with EyerMaps, I see that we are on the right path, fulfilling our mission as a company and as individuals by directly and indirectly helping to bring fundus exams to places and people that may not have been possible before.”
The Phelcom Eyer is a portable retinal camera that attaches to a smartphone and performs high-quality retinal exams in minutes without the need for pupil dilation.
The technology supports the diagnosis of over 50 diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, AMD, retinoblastoma, hypertensive retinopathy, and ocular toxoplasmosis. It is available in Brazil, the United States, Japan, Chile, Colombia, and will soon become available in other countries.
Portability, connectivity, and integration of intelligent functions like EyerMaps, along with a more accessible price, contribute to increased access to retinal exams.
Phelcom Technologies is a Brazilian medtech company headquartered in São Carlos, São Paulo. The company’s history began in 2016 when three young researchers – a physicist, an electronic engineer, and a computer engineer (PHysics, ELectronics, COMputing) – created a portable retinal camera integrated with a smartphone.
The idea for the first prototype arose from the interest of partner Diego Lencione in visual health, as his brother has a condition that severely compromised his retina and vision since childhood.
In 2019, Phelcom launched its first product in the Brazilian market: the portable retinal camera Eyer. More than 2 million people in Brazil and around the world have been examined using Eyer so far..
In four years, the company has participated in over 100 social initiatives and was recently listed among the top 10 most innovative companies in Brazil by Forbes.
*EyerMaps are designed for adult examination, do not substitute professional validation and can not be used alone for diagnostic purposes.