In January of 2020, the EU CE certification authority announced that Visionary Intelligence Ltd. (Vistel) ’s core ophthalmic AI auxiliary diagnostic software products have obtained EU CE certification. This means that Vistel’s eye disease solution with EyeWisdom® fundus image analysis software at its core will be fully rolled out in the EU market.
Vistel was founded in Beijing, China in 2016, and focuses on exploring the application of artificial intelligence technology in the medical field, especially ophthalmology. Company founder Yuhui Sun has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry, including 15 years of working at Intel at both its US headquarters and offices in the Asia Pacific.
Vistel deeply integrates AI technology research and development with clinical practice. It has a state of the art artificial intelligence laboratory led by Dayong Ding and Dr. Xirong Li. The technology research and development team has extensive industry experience in computer vision processing, artificial intelligence, image annotation and big data computing. By collaborating with Chinese ophthalmology medical teams from Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Henan Provincial Eye Hospital, Peking University Third Hospital, etc., Vistel provides artificial intelligence as the engine for screening, diagnosis and treatment of ophthalmic diseases.
Fundus disease poses a risk to vision, especially Retinopathy complicated by diabetes. According to the official website of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), approximately 463 million adults aged 20-79 suffer from diabetes worldwide in 2019. In Europe, diabetes increases at a rate of 15% per year. Approximately 25% of diabetic patients will develop retinopathy, which can cause blindness. Early screening and diagnosis can reduce the likelihood of losing vision by 94.4%.
The research and development team collected more than one million points of data on more than 100,000 fundus photos, and adopted strict quality control measures to ensure the consistency of data labeling. Led by co-founder and CTO Dr. Ding Dayong, the team trained deep neural networks to develop an AI model with remarkable performance. In 2019, a clinical trial was conducted in three different hospitals in China, in which EyeWisdom fundus image analysis performed at 93% in sensitivity and specificity.
Doctors assist patients in taking fundus photos, which are uploaded to the cloud AI and analyzed automatically. Within 10 seconds, an inspection report can be issued to the doctor, which improves the efficiency for diagnosing fundus. This avoids the huge medical burden caused by the development of severe fundus diseases and helps implement the global medical insurance and commercial insurance control fee policy. Vistel’s fundus image AI analysis software, fundus image management software, ophthalmology remote reading center platform, ophthalmic intelligent online consultation robot and other products have been installed in more than 500 medical institutions at home and abroad for trials. The company has also worked on an AI system which can detect more than 20 common blinding fundus diseases. This research is backed by 12 papers in authoritative international conferences and journals.
Vistel will continue to advance ophthalmology, consolidate research and development capabilities, and continue research and development in disease diagnosis and surgical planning.