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Close Up on Eyes

Research - Our vision for the future

Occuity has a long-term vision to study the eye and release the huge volume of information it contains about the health of the body. 

Occuity is focused on commercialising our research discoveries by developing patented devices to improve the screening and monitoring of major health conditions.

Focus: Retinal Imaging Systems

Dr. Alistair Bounds, who recently joined Occuity as part of a £1.5m Future Leaders Fellowship programme, is leading our research work to use ocular imaging for chronic and systemic disease assessment.

​In this video, Alistair introduces the grant and Future Leaders Fellowship, before discussing the project in more detail - highlighting the exciting potential of retinal imaging and how delivering commercially viable products that solve global healthcare challenges is key to the success of the project.

The grant opens up a new area for Occuity in targeting retinal imaging in a way that is highly complementary to the company’s existing programme of innovative research.

  • 0:00 - Introduction

  • 0:30 - What is the Future Leaders Fellowship?

  • 1:24 - What is the project?

  • 4:07 - What does success look like?

  • 5:45 - What are your thoughts on Occuity?

  • 7:16 - What is the future of healthcare?

Why is Occuity looking into the eye? What do we want to see?

The eye offers a unique window to the inner workings of the human body due to its lack of skin coverage, its proximity to the brain, and its immune-privileged status. Imaging through the eye allows for a direct assessment of a broad range of vasculature and microvasculature that, thanks to the eye’s shared blood flow to the brain, mimics the brain’s vascular function, offering a painless and non-invasive proxy for brain blood flow. Moreover, the retina’s immune-privileged nature provides an insight into the function, or dysfunction, of the immune system that few other parts of the body offer.

We are looking at a couple of different things, using a few different methods. We are very interested in fluorescence.

Fluorescence, the new wavelength of light that some molecules emit after absorbing light, acts like a fingerprint for those molecules, telling us about what constituents are present in the retina and acting as a proxy for compounds that are present in the brain. This can give us a powerful insight into what molecules are in the brain that shouldn’t be there, like the plaques and aggregated proteins that precede Alzheimer’s disease. We are also looking at blood flow in the retina, again, using it as a proxy for blood flow in the brain, but also for the retina itself. This is tied to several diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetes and diabetic retinopathy, and vascular dementia.

Research and our long-term vision

Ultimately, Occuity aims to put tools in people’s hands to fight humanity’s most challenging health conditions. This means getting products on the market in a way that generates real traction, that gains scalability and acceptance, and makes a real difference to doctors and patients. Occuity has a comprehensive research plan to ensure that our products are as effective as possible in this dynamic space, with collaborations across the UK and overseas including over a dozen universities and hospitals and multiple active grants.

These collaborations ensure that Occuity’s instruments target real clinical needs and are clinic-ready from the moment they are picked up. They also ensure that Occuity will be part of the healthcare revolution of the 21st Century. Artificial Intelligence is one of the fastest-growing areas of healthcare technology, particularly within the field of ophthalmology, and Occuity is already identifying opportunities to amplify the capabilities of AI for monitoring and screening. Personalised healthcare is a global research priority area as clinicians seek to better target existing treatments to most effectively address patient-specific pathologies. In this area, the fast, non-contact, in vivo molecule-specific detection methods being pioneered by Occuity could be ground-breaking in characterising pathology and guiding treatment.

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Alistair Bounds

I think success looks like instruments that allow clinicians to do their job better, in ways that aren’t possible right now, and that allow clinical researchers to get insights into diseases that we don’t have right now.

Alistair Bounds, Senior Research Scientist

Grants

Occuity actively seeks our grant funding opportunities which can help to accelerate the development of our technology platform to unleash the power of the eye as a window on the health of the body. Some of our previous and current grants include:

  • Future Leaders Fellowship - £1.4m grant to support a £1.5m project to research ocular imaging for chronic and systemic disease assessment. - read more
     

  • Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) Award - To support the development of the SD1 - Diabetes AGE Screening Device - read more
     

  • Internationalisation Grant - Funding to support International commercial activities - read more
     

  • SIGHT Grant - to support clinical trials and the launch of the PM1 Pachymeter - read more
     

  • Berkshire Business Capital Grant Fund - used to support the manufacturing testing process of the PM1. - read more
     

  • Innovate UK SMART Award - To support the build of 4 new prototypes for our G1 "Occuity Indigo" Glucose Project - read more

Patent Preparation and Prosecution
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