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Leap in Detection and Diagnoses of Eye and Other Disorders

Fri, 08/03/2012 - 4:29am
The Associated Press

The Brien Holden Vision Institute has just taken a leap into the future of health and vision care by taking a controlling share holding in US based Quantum Catch, a diagnostic technology development company that has focused on making real time, high resolution systems, including retinal cameras, for detection and diagnosis of eye diseases and other conditions related to general health.

Professor Brien Holden, OAM, CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Vision CRC, and now Chair of the Board of Quantum Catch said, "The principals of the firm, Tom Cornsweet, David Green, Peter Galen, Paul Peterson and Paul Loftness focused firstly on producing high-tech, breakthrough instrumentation capable of imaging, detecting and diagnosing eye disease and, secondly, on making it affordable for all health practitioners and centers, even those in the most underserved communities worldwide." Holden continued, "Professor Tom Cornsweet is a legend in the field, having invented the auto-refractor and many other extremely useful technologies in a career spanning 50 years. We are delighted to be in partnership with him and his team. David Green has had a major impact on affordable health technologies, having played a significant part in developing low cost intraocular lenses and advanced affordable high-tech hearing aids. In fact, all the principals in Quantum Catch are dedicated to advances in eye health with a strong, committed social agenda."

Through cutting edge research over the last 25 years, Brien Holden Vision Institute has contributed to the commercialization of products that have enhanced the vision of billions worldwide.

"We know there are in excess of 640 million people (123 million with distance impairment and 517 million with near impairment) mostly in the developing world, without access to the eye care they need. We also know that the cost to the global economy in lost productivity, for distance vision alone, is a staggering $269 billion each year," Holden added. "In addition, over 152 million people are blind or vision impaired because of eye disease. The link between avoidable blindness and loss of quality of life is indisputable. Uncorrected refractive error and undiagnosed eye disease cause profound economic disadvantage to individuals, their families and communities."

"A major part of the problem, from the remote outback to the high-end professional practice, is the efficient detection, diagnosis and timely treatment of early eye disease. The Institute will combine its clinical, epidemiology, eye care technology and delivery knowledge of the Institute and its partners to take the next step in developing instruments that can capture, analyze and diagnose conditions such as glaucoma, retinal disease, early signs of vascular and other chronic diseases and refractive error," he added.

Quantum Catch is a social enterprise founded in 2009 that focuses on the design, manufacture, and sale of affordable, high-quality medical devices to make detection and screening of diseases, as well as measurement of the progression of chronic diseases, easy and convenient. The Quantum Catch team has extensive experience in design and development of products for the ophthalmic market, in software development, biomedical engineering, and in commercialization and distribution of medical technologies.

Peter Galen, CEO of Quantum Catch has more than 30 years experience in research, development and commercialization. He is acutely interested in making medical technology accessible to all and is dedicated to the design and development of affordable medical products for emerging countries.

"Our first two products are an affordable retinal imaging system and anterior segment imaging and diagnostic device for ocular and neurological disorders affecting pupillary responses and eye movements," said Galen. "It's an exciting time. In the past, Quantum Catch has been fortunate to be the recipient of grants totalling $1.3 million from U.S. foundations including the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, California Healthcare Foundation and Australian, Fred Hollows Foundation. This partnership with Brien Holden Vision Institute includes the injection of capital and expertise needed to take our research and development to a wider market and continue to develop new technology and systems for more diagnostic capabilities. It's very motivating," he added.

Brian Doolan, CEO of The Fred Hollows Foundation said, "We provided early grants to Quantum Catch to help develop this badly needed, affordable, retinal camera technology to help detect eye diseases. This is especially important for those of us working in developing communities where accessibility to eye care is a major problem."

He continued, "We are pleased that the Brien Holden Vision Institute has now invested a substantial amount of its revenue to help further develop the technology with the intention of bringing it to market in a socially responsible manner."

Professor Holden reflected on the impact of Quantum Catch technology in developing communities, "Imagine a world where everyone, everywhere had access to this type of accessible, 'instrument based' diagnosis - it could have a direct impact on morbidity rates and change the social and economic situation for individuals, communities and nations. To be an active part of that change is something the Institute and its partners have been moving towards for more than a quarter of a century," he concluded.

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