We are retmarker
Founded more than 10 years ago as a spin off from Critical Software, the Retmarker company brings the innovative spirit from its founders to push for the adoption of state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence solutions to the field of Ophthalmology.
The company is currently focused in retinal diseases, namely on Diabetic Retinopathy where we provide our own technology and professional services in the implementation of efficient and effective population-based screening services. We are one of the oldest and most respected AI providers in this field, with technology certified as class IIa medical device in Europe and is also approved in Australia.
Our proprietary technology has been tested over the years in many different conditions. We were approved in the only independent study ever done to evaluate such technologies in real life conditions with the best specificity – translates into burden reduction i.e. cost savings.
We believe that everywhere a diabetic is photographed, there should be the Retmarker technology available to contribute to blindness prevention.
After Critical Software
Founded in December 19th 2008 as a spin out from the Critical Group, the Retmarker company was initially called Critical Health S.A. and was created to pursue opportunities in the Healthcare area that were being evaluated at Critical Software.
At Critical Health, the Vision Business soon became the single focus of the company and the company was later rebranded as Retmarker to better reflect its core business.
Even before the company inception, Critical had set up a strategic partnership with a Portuguese research institute named AIBILI , founded and led by Professor José Cunha-Vaz.
Professor Cunha-Vaz is a distinguished doctor scientist whose work has included laboratory and clinical research in retina and intraocular fluids with special emphasis on blood-retinal barriers and diabetic retinopathy. He initiated clinical vitreous fluorometry and multimodal mapping. His career is full of achievements and awards resulting from his work as Research Associate at Institute of Ophthalmology / Moorfields, London, UK; or as Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of the Retina Service, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA; or even as Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of the Lions of Illinois Eye Institute, Chicago, USA, among other places.
AIBILI is today a prestigious European Clinical Research Institute and the coordinating centre for the EVICR.net (European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network), the largest European network of clinical research in Ophthalmology.
This partnership facilitated the company access to clinical knowledge and clinical data – fundamental assets to develop solutions in the medical field. Nevertheless, Retmarker is fully independent from AIBILI.
Through the partnership, Retmarker gained access to a license of a proprietary and patented co-registration algorithm that allows to automatically overlap retinal images taken in different moments in time. Such algorithm became an underlying part of the Retmarker technology as it allows pinpointing the same anatomical area in different images, which is crucial to track disease activity.
Retmarker’s initial development was a microaneurysm (the first lesion that occurs in Diabetic Retinopathy) detector and combined it with a co-registration algorithm (that allows to automatically overlap different images) to compute the Formation and Disappearance rates of microaneurysms. According to multiples studies, such rates are relevant to predict the risk of developing vision-threatening complications such as Diabetic Macular Edema and Proliferative Retinopathy.
This information is very useful for research activities and for patient enrolment in Clinical Trials as recognized by the European Medicine Agency (EMA) in 2015.
Realizing that all diabetics should do a periodic eye check to control their risk of Diabetic Retinopathy, Retmarker developed a technology to be used in DR Screening initiatives. The rationale is that on top of the huge number of Diabetics worldwide, on average less than 10% of them will need referral to a doctor. This means there is a huge effort to screen everyone and identify the ones in need, a burden that could benefit easily from artificial intelligence technology as everyone now accepts.
Retmarker technology is certified as class IIa medical device in Europe and also approved in Australia. It has been tested over the years in many different conditions.
It was approved in the only independent study ever done to evaluate such technologies in real life conditions (study, led by A. Tufail from Moorfields Eye Hospital) with thebest specificity – translates into burden reduction i.e. cost savings.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Retmarker image analysis capabilities were expanded to AMD lesions to support an Epidemiological Study. Very simple manual and preset annotations of Drusen (including confluence), Hypopigmentation, Hyperpigmentation, Geographic Atrophy and Exudative Lesions was added.
An additional module allowing multimodal comparison of annotations was also developed.
This software won an IT Award in London. In the end of 2019 a validation study was published in Nature: Eye.
A New Era: Part of METEDA
During 2021, METEDA s.r.l. bought a majority stake in Retmarker company.
METEDA is an Italian provider of innovative and technologically advanced software and hardware solutions for diabetes and nutrition. Meteda operates throughout the EMEA Region and is a leader for electronic medical record systems for diabetes clinics, serving more than 90 percent of diabetes centers in Italy, and is one of the main players in the nutritional software area.
Retmarker is open to other challenges that combine healthcare (ideally ophthalmology) with technology.