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Digital Diagnostics and Orbis International Announce Study to Help Save Eyesight in Bangladesh

 Technology Today Bureau

Digital Diagnostics, developers of IDx-DR, an FDA De Novo-cleared autonomous AI system for the detection of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME), and Orbis International, the influential nonprofit dedicated to fighting avoidable blindness around the world, have partnered on a study that will bring high-quality disease detection to communities in Bangladesh.

"There are over 8 million people with diabetes in Bangladesh, many of whom don't have access to the care they need, such as routine diabetic eye exams," said Michael Abramoff, MD, PhD, Founder and Executive Chairman of Digital Diagnostics. "We are excited to partner with Orbis to study the impact autonomous AI can have on physician productivity while also helping increase access, and lower cost for patients."

The study will focus on the implementation of IDx-DR to evaluate patients in Northern Bangladesh for diabetic retinopathy using autonomous AI to assess if the technology increases the number of patients tested for DR, and in turn, empower local physicians to make a greater impact in their community.

Orbis International is a nonprofit that is on a mission to fight avoidable blindness by empowering local eye care teams with the skills and resources necessary to save sight on their own. Through innovations like the Flying Eye Hospital and an award-winning telemedicine platform, Cybersight, and partnerships with companies and organizations such as Digital Diagnostics, Orbis mentors, trains, and inspires eye care professionals in areas with the greatest need, building a long-term legacy of eye care that can restore vision for generations to come.

"As autonomous AI innovation continues to gain acceptance in healthcare, we at Orbis have the exciting challenge of getting to choose our partners from an elite field of innovators," said Dr. Hunter Cherwek, Orbis International's Vice President of Clinical Services and Technologies. "After careful consideration, we chose to implement IDx-DR's highly validated system for this study, to help us empower local doctors in Northern Bangladesh, as they work to improve patient outcomes and save their patients' vision."

"It makes me proud to know that IDx-DR is furthering Orbis's mission to fight avoidable blindness by empowering the local community to find solutions that promote equity, accessibility, and education," said Abramoff. "Our work to create an ethical foundation for autonomous AI in healthcare is the catalyst to develop AI the right way and bring the platform to developing countries like Bangladesh, which will leave a positive and lasting impact for generations to come."

In Bangladesh alone, it is estimated that 400,000 people have gone blind from complications of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, accounting for 3.7 million cases of blindness in 2010, despite being preventable if caught early.

The study between Orbis International and Digital Diagnostics extends unbiased, accessible, and preventative care to those who need it most, while helping to improve outcomes for countless people who get to continue living with the benefit of healthy vision. This partnership opens the door for future collaborations and the continued expansion of high-quality solutions to help physicians address and prevent avoidable blindness in their local communities.

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