UCL’s Industry Exchange Network (UCL IXN), part of the National Framework for IXNs, along with ToukanLabs and The Apperta Foundation CIC are proud to be working together to research two new solutions for eyecare based on OpenEyes, the leading open source electronic patient record (EPR) for ophthalmology.

The first project will look at how a technology-based test could be used to identify Age-related Macular Degeneration AMD.

AMD is the leading cause of blindness (i.e. permanent vision loss) in people over the age of 60. It is an age-related disease that wears down the macula, a portion of the retina, leading to vision loss as well as, blindness.

Our intention is to make use of Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) to overcome the issue of the inconsistencies when taking the test for AMD physically in person. The Proof of Concept technology aims to increase patient motivation and commitment to self-testing. We will research low cost solutions, easily affordable for the mass market.

Project two will enhance and develop existing open source code linked to popular holographic technology solutions derived from the UCL, Intel and GOSH supported HoloRepository 2020 project. The main objective is to create a HoloPipeline machine learning classifier for early detection of Glaucoma by tagging OCT images of the eye. This adds value to the growing catalogue of open sourced 3D organ segmentation tools.

We will be working with data from the OpenEyes solution and have clinical direction from colleagues at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.

Our project aims to help spot the trends in OCT images using this new technology to one day detect and treat glaucoma sooner.

The goal for both projects is to build a working prototype and reports to test and detail the theory by January 2021. Both projects will also release open source code associated with them under the custodianship of the Apperta Foundation CIC.

Clayton Blake, CEO of ToukanLabs Ltd said: ‘We are thrilled to be working with students to lend our industry knowledge to their projects. The work undertaken cannot be underestimated in what it could achieve, and we hope to build it into the world class OpenEyes solution’.

David Ingram, Emeritus Professor of Health Informatics at UCL and member of the Apperta OpenEyes committee said ‘As an executive collaborator and advisor of the IXN with UCL for almost 6 years, we have undertaken hundreds of projects with brilliant students. Both projects could make a real difference to eyecare across the globe’.

Dean Mohamedally, Principal Teaching Fellow at UCL, and Inventor of the Industry Exchange Network said ‘talented students in Computer Science across the country are looking for Proof of Concept projects like these, that enables them to demonstrate new gains in interoperability, efficiency and innovation in health technologies with the state of the art in machine learning. We look forward to seeing their achievements grow alongside the open source community.’