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The eye is quite an unbelievable thing. Apart from the obvious function of allowing us to see the world in incredible precision, did you know that it contains a record of changes that are happening within our body? It is literally a window into our health. An example of this is how chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes can leave telltale markers as they progress. By studying subtle variations of the amount and distribution of these markers, early detection and monitoring of these and other diseases is possible. Enter Occuity, a pioneering medtech producing innovative, patented technology to do just this.
Occuity’s devices safely shine a low power beam of light into the eye and the analysis of the light that comes back out can be used to address some of the world’s greatest healthcare challenges. Their products seek to replace invasive and painful blood tests with a simple scan of the eye.
Occuity’s products cover three areas: ophthalmology, disease screening, and disease monitoring, which they estimate total a combined market size of $35 billion. Let’s hone in on just one of those areas – the diabetes problem.
Diabetes affects 463 million people worldwide and is sadly on the rise to reach 700 million people by 2045. The disease is more prevalent with age, affecting 1 in 5 over 65s. 352 million are estimated to have pre-diabetes and it is believed that 50% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed. Although it’s a disease that you can live with, it can also be fatal. In 2019, diabetes and associated complications caused 4.2 million deaths.
Unsurprisingly, diabetes makes a large dent in healthcare costs – it caused at least $760 billion in health expenditure in 2019 – 10% of total spending on adults.
Occuity is developing the Occuity Indigo – a non-contact, pain-free glucose monitor to replace the currently invasive and painful fingertip tests. Keen to get feedback from people with diabetes, the Occuity team created a Facebook community and surveyed over 8,900 individuals. The results were extremely positive, with 99% saying they would be likely to switch to the Occuity Indigo if it were available today, many commenting they struggle with sore and hard fingers from having to prick them daily with the current testing methods. Occuity has been awarded an Innovate UK grant for the development of the technology within the Occuity Indigo, showing great external recognition.
Another device, and the first that Occuity will release, is the PM1 Pachymeter. A handheld, non-contact optometer used by opticians and ophthalmologists to measure the corneal thickness within the eye. Discussions with distributors have started early and are positive. Birmingham Optical is one of the UK’s leading independent ophthalmic distributors and has great connections with most of the major UK chains including Specsavers and Vision Express. Occuity has received its first major letter of intent from Birmingham Optical who has forecast for 4000 units worth a potential £6.75 million. They are really excited about the Pachymeter and can see how well it will be received.
Recently Occuity has significantly enhanced the senior team, including a Design Director with 27 years of experience in Apple’s design team, a seasoned CFO, and a Programme Director experienced in bringing medtech devices to market. Funds raised from this round of crowdfunding will be used to drive early revenues by investing in sales, marketing, production and distribution.
Occuity set a target raise of £1,800,005 on Seedrs but have already secured over £2.2 million from over 500 investors! If you’d like to join these investors, including the Director of an NHS trust, check out the pitch.