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AZ Tech Beat | May 24, 2018

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Gobiquity, first pediatric mobile vision screening app co, expands to the Valley

Gobiquity, first pediatric mobile vision screening app co, expands to the Valley
Tishin Donkersley

The next time a pediatrician gives your child a vision test, they might whip out a smartphone and snap a picture.

Gobiquity, a mobile health company, developed the first pediatric vision diagnostic mobile app, GoCheck Kids, that enables physicians to test for Amblyopia “lazy eye” risk factors for children six months to six years in a matter of seconds.

Amblyopia is the leading cause of visual impairment and vision loss in children. Approximately 15 percent of children have risk factors for amblyopia and preventable with early diagnosis, yet less than 20 percent get their vision tested, according to the Children’s Eye Foundation.

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The technology and algorithms were designed by ophthalmologists and co-invented by David Huang, MD, PhD, who also contributed to the development of optical coherence tomography (OCT) used for refractive surgery and more.

CEO Gobiquity Andrew Burns said, “We really are a vision diagnostic technology company, provide a preventative early detection mobile health solution for vision.”

The company currently runs the app on the Lumia 1020 and Windows system which is the most popular operating system for the healthcare industry, Burns said. There are plans to have the app function on other mobile devices.

Through the GoCheck Kids photoscreening app, a single photo is taken using the camera flash. The light bounces off the refractive tissue or retinal “red” reflex which helps determine amblyopia risk factors including, anisometropia, myopia, and hyperopia.

Within seconds, the photo is sent up to the Gobiquity cloud-based system, analyzed and returned to the physician with any risk factors identified.

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The data is housed on their secure HIPPA compliant cloud system, not the smartphone, and doctors can access and download records through their portal.

Burns said their system is currently running at an 80 percent accuracy rate – a higher performance system than normal visual acuity tests.

Physicians are able to sign up for a monthly subscription fee from $99 to $199 depending on volume and the company provides the equipment and cloud service.

While their vision screening tests are reimbursable for most healthcare plans, not all patients have the luxury, Burns said. The company’s goal is to make their technology affordable enough so pediatricians can perform the test on all patients regardless of coverage.

We want the doctor to say “I’m going to perform this test on all patients,” Burns said.

After eight screenings are reimbursed, the equipment has paid for itself, said Burns.

This week Gobiquity announced they were moving their headquarters from Aliso Viejo to Scottsdale.

The company chose Scottsdale because of the med tech ecosystem, healthcare talent pool, academic infusion, cost of living and high quality of living, Burns said.

Burns joined Gobiquity with a personal mission in mind. With a daughter who lives with a visual impairment and his time helping underserved populations in Haiti, Burns has a passion to help people access preventative care.

“I know the importance of visual health,” Burns said.

Gobiquity plans to expand their technology and test for other vision loss factors.

“Our focus is [to provide] specialty tests to primary care doctors and prevent blindness,” Burns said.

Read more about companies expanding to Arizona at AZTB.

Graphics courtesy of Gobiquity