Improving Malaria Diagnosis Using Artificial Intelligence; VisionQuest Biomedical and Volk Optical Partner to Save Thousands of African Kids’ Lives

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- VisionQuest Biomedical LLC (Albuquerque, NM) has partnered with Volk Optical (Mentor, OH) to develop a technological solution that could potentially save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children under 5 years old in Africa. Cerebral malaria (CM) is a fatal neurological complication of malaria, claiming hundreds of thousands of children’s lives in Africa every year. Malarial retinopathy is a retinal manifestation of cerebral malaria and its presence in the eye significantly improves the diagnostic accuracy for cerebral malaria. Detecting malarial retinopathy is an easy and accurate method of diagnosing cerebral malaria given the proper equipment under the supervision of a physician. However, many of the African clinics lack user-friendly and inexpensive retinal cameras or skilled eye care professionals.

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Volk’s Pictor Plus camera being used to image a patient with cerebral malaria. (Photo: Business Wire ...

Volk’s Pictor Plus camera being used to image a patient with cerebral malaria. (Photo: Business Wire)

VisionQuest’s solution uses Volk’s Pictor Plus and iNview retinal cameras paired with its artificial intelligence software, ASPIRE, to diagnose malarial retinopathy at costs affordable to African clinics. As part of a National Institutes of Health research grant to VisionQuest, Volk’s retinal cameras have been used to collect over 1,000 retinal images from patients with cerebral malaria. VisionQuest’s ASPIRE software automatically analyzes the retinal images and detects signs of Malarial retinopathy, thereby giving access to this life saving diagnostic in regions where access to a physician is limited. The software’s excellent diagnostic performance has been reported in Nature (2017).

The Pictor Plus camera has made possible highly accurate detection of malarial retinopathy lesions. The Pictor Plus has been acclaimed for its usability, portability, and ergonomics by the clinicians who used it onsite in Africa. Similarly, the iNview device, which can be attached to a smartphone to capture images of the retina, provides a handy, user-friendly, ergonomically suitable solution that stays within the affordability limits of African clinics.

VisionQuest Biomedical has been working with Volk Optical to customize a clinical device that uses a smartphone, the iNview, and an app that implements the ASPIRE software to detect malarial retinopathy. This device will be made available to thousands of hospitals, primary care clinics, and community healthcare facilities, at an affordable cost.

About VisionQuest Biomedical LLC.,

VisionQuest Biomedical is a research and development (R&D) company based in Albuquerque, NM. VisionQuest uses artificial intelligence to detect multiple ophthalmic conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy and malarial retinopathy.




VisionQuest Biomedical LLC
Simon Barriga, 505-508-1994



Source: VisionQuest Biomedical LLC

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Volk’s Pictor Plus camera being used to image a patient with cerebral malaria. (Photo: Business Wire)

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