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PeriVision receives CHF 1.6M R&D grant for remote patient monitoring

In September 2022, PeriVision was awarded an Innosuisse research grant together with the University Hospital Bern and ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research to investigate remote visual field testing in glaucoma patients.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness around the world and is a chronic condition that needs continuous monitoring. It affects c. 2% of the population over 40 years old and more than 10% of the people over 75. In Switzerland alone, there are over 100’000 reported glaucoma cases which typically require follow-ups twice per year and sometimes more often (e.g., initial diagnosis will lead to 2-3 visits in the first 12 months). These numbers scale with most Western countries, in and outside of Europe.

Among the modalities used to monitor the progression, perimetry of visual field testing, an interactive eye test identifying functional loss, creates bottlenecks in hospitals and practices. The procedure is very resource-intense requiring a technician, a dedicated dark room and 20-30 min. of uncomfortable and fatiguing testing. This creates bottlenecks and inefficiencies and access barriers to eye testing. Due to high prevalence and chronic nature of the disease this in turn imposes large costs on healthcare systems.

PeriVision combines artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and the cloud to build the next generation systems to understand visual function. We build a virtual suite of functional eye tests which patients can perform on portable and ergonomic VR headsets. Their doctors can configure the tests on a cloud platform and view the measurements and analyses after testing. Across the entire workflow, we deploy our AI algorithms to make the tests faster and more reliable, virtually assist patients, assess the test quality and provide doctors with deeper insight. Our first product is a glaucoma software suite to address the large unmet need to monitor 80M glaucoma patients more efficiently and effectively.

In September 2022, our young AI and software company was awarded a CHF 1.6M (USD 1.6M) research grant together with University Hospital Bern and ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research under the joint leadership of Prof. Dr. Raphael Sznitman (ARTORG), Prof. Dr. Jan Unterlauft (University Hospital Bern) and Dr. Serife Kucur (PeriVision SA). The aim is to design and validate a novel system to monitor visual fields with a portable and cloud-based technology allowing patients to perform tests autonomously at home. Such a remote solution has the potential to optimize patient pathways in several ways. On the one hand, it could be used to monitor stable patients and reduce clinic visits (potentially in combination with remote IOP monitoring) in overburdened healthcare systems. On the other hand, certain patient-subpopulations at risk of very fast progression (10-15%) could be monitored more closely in order to shorten time to intervention or adapt treatment.

Thus, the funds will be used to develop a patient-friendly system for home monitoring and data transfer to clinical sites for data interpretation. Moreover, the project will validate the system in a clinical study led by University Hospital Bern. If successful, this model can substantially improve the monitoring of glaucoma patients around the world and could be translated to optimize care pathways for other eye tests and conditions.

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