Macular degeneration (AMD) is an age-related illness and one of the leading causes of blindness in developed countries, with about 1 in 10 individuals affected. It is also responsible for diabetic retinopathy. Zurich-based Oculocare Medical launched in 2015 to address this medical issue with innovative medical software applications
Its flagship product, Alleye, consists of an easy-to-use mobile app with a smart eye test and web-based monitoring for ophthalmologists, detects and characterises central and paracentral metamorphopsia (visual distortion) in patients with macular conditions, including AMD and diabetic retinopathy. After medical diagnosis by an eye specialist, the mobile application Alleye lets patients regularly perform simple self-tests at home to monitor their eyesight and assess disease progression.
The Alleye technology has obtained patents in 18 countries including, USA, Japan and China. Moreover, the FDA certified solution is used by 170 clinics in 30 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America, New Zealand, and the Middle East. The frequent usage of its platform has led to over 100’000 test results being stored on Alley. The digital health company is funded via revenues and equity investment.
Commenting on Alleye’s success, especially in the current economic state, Lucas Bachmann, Founder and CEO of Oculocare said: “The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic has been a real game-changer for Alleye and remote monitoring of eyesight in general. Beyond the pandemic, the availability of new drugs with longer visit intervals for re-treatment will call for straightforward patient home monitoring technology to provide a safety net between visits and to reassure patients in the period without physical contact with the eye care specialist. For patients with diabetes, the Alleye app is a straightforward tool to check their eyesight regularly and detect visual deterioration timely.”
Partnerships for different purposes
Oculocare further benefits from collaborating with different organisations. Today, the startup works with opticians like Fielmannm and pharma companies such as Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Bayer, Novartis, and Regeneron. The company also has ongoing international research partnerships with the Moorfields Eye Hospital London and The Singapore National Eye Center.
Most recently, Roche capitalised on Oculocare. Through a three-year partnership agreement,the two parties aim to improve the ophthalmology treatment landscape by using innovative solutions to relieve the burden on the healthcare system, relieve care structures while achieving the best outcomes for patients. The partners believe that pairing innovative medicines with digital technologies will have great impact. A key pillar of the joint vision is the use of Alleye. The combination of Alleye with Roche’s novel long-acting therapies creates a pioneering link between medicines and digital technology, enabling optimal care for patients with chronic retinal diseases.