New Company Will Revolutionize Diagnostic Precision in Ophthalmology

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Four faculty members at the University of Pittsburgh have founded a company called NetraMind Innovations to revolutionize diagnostic precision in ophthalmology.

Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, José-Alain Sahel, MD; Professor of Ophthalmology, Medical Retina and Vitreoretinal Surgery, Jay Chhablani, MD; and Research Assistant Professors Kiran Kumar Vupparaboina, PhD and Sandeep Chandra Bollepalli, PhD, created this company to address the need for cross-platform, multimodal image analysis. Currently there is no single solution capable of performing this kind of analysis to enhance diagnostic accuracy and treatment planning.

The company’s solutions are tailored for the leading causes of blindness: age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR). These two conditions are projected to increase to 5.4 million and 11.4 million by 2050, respectively. Diagnosis requires multimodal imaging, and comparison of disease progression over multiple visits means precise monitoring is essential. Advanced image analysis is needed to detect and quantify disease lesions.

NetraMind Innovations has an AI-driven cross-platform solution – one is clinical-focused, and the other is research-focused. They are being touted as cost-effective. The business model is subscription-based, using a common pricing model in healthcare.

“The advent of such a multimodal, device-agnostic image analytic tool holds the potential to revolutionize patient management, fulfilling a long-awaited dream in the realm of eye care,” Dr. Chhablani said.

Starting this April, thanks to a Richard King Mellon grant, the company will begin prototype integration. Research sales and commercial deployment are expected to begin in late summer. Year two will see the start of FDA clinical trials, along with continued development and fundraising. In year three, the hope is to file an FDA application. Hopefully in year four, the company will receive FDA clearance and begin clinical sales.