Coronary Heart Diseases (CHD) is the No.1 cause of death worldwide and over $700 billion is spent on CHD across the globe. However, most of the diagnostic processes to assess cardiovascular risk are invasive and expensive. Korean startup Medi Whale, a pioneer in medical devices and software designing, has launched DrNoon that enables full-body health checkup using the eye image only.
The eye as the window to the human body
The eye is the only organ through which a non-invasive observation of the blood vessel is possible. From the eye image, the risk of ocular, chronic, and cardiovascular diseases can be screened. Founded by Kevin Choi, the startup’s Artificial Intelligence software, DrNoon finds cardiovascular risk in an early stage using retinal images as biomarkers.
It diagnoses the patient’s eye condition based on the collection of over 100,000 eye diagnosis data. The diagnosis is made by analyzing the fundus photographs and tells about lesions in eye vessels, macula, and optic nerves. DrNoon predicts a coronary artery calcium score (CACS) only using the basic patient information and fundus photographs.
Simple, cost-effective and efficient
The test is simple and takes as little as three minutes. The software takes a photo of the retina, and the AI technology diagnoses the result. The test costs $5 per patient, making it extremely cost-effective. The accuracy of DrNoon is up to 95%, and it can also help diagnose diabetic retinopathy, a type of complication of diabetes.
Medi Whale plans to target the Southeast Asian market first, where such a diagnosis-supporting tool for diseases is in high demand. It is undergoing a clinical trial for medical device approval in South Korea and will soon start the commercial production. The company is also trying to look for demands for the solution, mainly including internal clinics and health checkup centers.
The company has partnered with hospitals in Korea, Vietnam, and India and aims to cover the eye checkups of 1,000 patients a day and Health checkups of 10,000 patients a year in the next three years.