• Peter Koch (Founder)
  • Helge Sudkamp (Participant)
  • Michael Münst (Participant)
  • Moritz Moltmann (Participant)

Description of impact

AMD is the leading cause of blindness
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries [2]. It affects the retina’s point of sharpest vision, the macula. A distinction is made between the early (dry) form of AMD and the acute (wet) form that is developed by around 15% of the patients [1]. While the dry form progresses only very slowly, it sometimes evolves into the wet form which progresses intermittently and, if left untreated, leads to a loss of central visual acuity.

How many people are affected?
Age-related macular degeneration accounts for 8.7% of all blindness worldwide and is the most common cause of blindness in developed countries [2]. In Germany, for instance, AMD is by far the most frequent cause of blindness with 49.8% [3]. While the wet AMD accounts for around 15% of all AMD cases, it is responsible for 80% of all vision loss caused by AMD.

Is there a treatment for AMD?
For several years, wet AMD can be effectively treated using VEGF inhibitors, which are injected into the eye. However, this treatment needs to be repeated. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is used to acquire three‑dimensional images of the retina, which help to determine whether an injection is necessary.

How are we improving AMD treatment?
We have developed a solution that enables automated inspection of the retina with a compact, affordable, and simple-to-use device. This allows the patient to regularly check whether disease activity is present. If necessary, the patient is sent to the ophthalmologist for treatment. This prevents undertreatment and the consequent loss of vision.

What prevented this approach until now?
Current OCT systems are bulky, expensive, and are only used by trained personnel. Thus, they are mostly used in hospitals or doctors’ offices, where a regular daily or even weekly check for every patient is not feasible.
Our home care OCT technology

We have developed proprietary OCT technology that is based on a full-field approach. This technology enables building small and cheap handheld devices which can be used by patients to diagnose the retina by pressing a single button and looking into the device.
Our technology is patented.
Impact statusregistered
Impact date2019
Category of impactSpin-Off
Impact levelTransfer & Translation

Research Area or Academic Center

  • Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering