New Product: TheDigiScope
The DigiScope takes digital photos of the back of the patient’s eyeand sends the images via the Internet to an eye specialist where the images areinterpreted and sent back to the primary care physician.
Lilly to Support EyeTel Imaging in ImprovingScreening for Diabetic Retinopathy
EyeTel’s technology assesses risk of diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause
of blindness in working-age Americans
Indianapolis, Indiana – March 22, 2004 — EliLilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) as part of a continued commitment to innovation inthe area of diabetes, announced today the creation of a strategic relationshipwith EyeTel Imaging, Inc. to improve screening and detection of diabeticretinopathy, one of the potentially devastating diabetic microvascularcomplications. The agreement, which expands the relationship between the twocompanies, will provide EyeTel with on-going operational support from Lilly,allowing EyeTel to provide primary care physicians access to state-of-the-artpatient risk assessment tools and education programs.
Developedat The Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute at Johns Hopkins, EyeTel’s DigiScope®technology allows primary care physicians to perform simple eye risk assessmentsfor diabetic retinopathy in the convenience of a routine office visit. TheDigiScope takes digital photos of the back of the patients eye and sends theimages via the Internet to the Wilmer-EyeTel Reading Center in Maryland, wherethe images are interpreted. Results are sent back to the primary care physicianwithin 48 hours, and patients identified to have diabetic retinopathy arereferred to an eye specialist for appropriate care.
“Awareness and screening are among the biggest barriers toappropriate diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy,” said Aniz Girach,M.D., senior global ophthalmologist at Lilly. “The DigiScope may be one of thetools to help us achieve our goal of having all people with diabetes screenedannually to determine if they need further examination or treatment by an eyespecialist.”
Nearly half of all people with diabetes will develop some degreeof diabetic retinopathy, a disease of the small blood vessels of the retina.Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss in adults of workingage (20 to 65 years) in industrialized countries. The American DiabetesAssociation (ADA) recommends annual eye examinations for people with diabetes,but it is estimated that less than half comply with this recommendation.Availability of the DigiScope technology has the potential to significantlyimprove screening rates, and thus, earlier diagnosis and treatment.
“Despiteimproved treatments, millions of people with diabetes continue to suffer theconsequences of the disease, including diabetic retinopathy,” said ElizabethKlimes, president of diabetes and growth disorders at Lilly. “Anything Lillycan do to help healthcare professionals identify and treat diabetic retinopathyis an important part of our mission.”
“The key to providing proper care to people with diabeticretinopathy is early detection and treatment before the person sustainspermanent damage and vision loss,” said Morton Goldberg, M.D., former Chairmanof Ophthalmology at The Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute at Johns Hopkins.“The goal is to increase the number of people being assessed in theconvenience of the primary care physicians office, in order to improvecompliance and ensure that patients with complications are seen by an eyespecialist and receive appropriate treatment.”
“We are excited to be associated with the premier globalcompany in diabetes care,” said Richard W. Turner, Chairman and CEO of EyeTel.“Lilly’s history in diabetes brings us invaluable knowledge and theirresearch into future treatments in the area of diabetes and diabeticmicrovascular complications is providing a renewed sense of optimism to thefield. We are confident that this relationship can improve the long-termstandard of care for people with diabetes.”
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