Anand Sivaraman, Remidio’s Director & CEO, writes about Change being the only constant at Remidio Innovative Solutions. United by our work mantra ‘Make it simple’, Remidio is constantly evolving to make eye screening simpler and affordable. After a decade, know why and how Remidio has rebranded itself to embrace the new journey ahead.
This is a story of change.
In early September 2010, the genesis for Remidio was laid with a chance meeting I had with Dr. Anand Vinekar, a pediatric ophthalmologist, from Narayana Nethralaya, Bangalore, on a train journey from Kochi to Bangalore, who rued the absence of affordable imaging devices in India to prevent needless blindness. Provoked to respond, Remidio entered the field of novel Ophthalmic Screening and Diagnostic devices. We quickly developed an ‘easy to use’ smartphone based retinal imaging device at ~1/5th of the cost of existing devices detecting Diabetic Retinopathy while achieving the same image quality and hence clinical outcomes. This was a first of its kind product that used smartphones to take pictures of the retina without dilating the eye, our first product embodying our work mantra — ‘make it simple’ and ‘be the world’s first’
From 2015 till date, Remidio has placed more than 2,700 devices worldwide across 20+ countries. However, the most fulfilling part of our journey was the impact this has had on more than 7.5 million lives spanning geographies. In fact, this ‘Indian innovation’ made its way into more than 450 primary care clinics in the US, in addition to more than 1,500 public health centers, ophthalmology clinics and primary care centers in India. With the provincial government in Kerala, India, Diabetic Retinopathy screening programs using our devices have shown as high as 31% detection of any Diabetic Eye Disease, among patients with diabetes — many of them with no prior knowledge of having the disease. Such early screening models in India, Africa and the US have helped us close on care gaps.
We continue to push boundaries in the field of ophthalmic screening by expanding beyond traditional teleophthalmology based models for screening. In 2018, we published a seminal paper in the official journal of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Nature Eye, on the use of Artificial Intelligence in the detection of Diabetic Retinopathy in prospective trials in India. Further research culminated in us launching the world’s first “offline” AI solution — the Medios DR AI that completes an on-site clinical diagnosis in less than 5 seconds, for presence of Referable Diabetic Retinopathy, on a smartphone without the need for any internet access. The innovation was a departure from traditional AI models such as those from Google and was termed path breaking as acknowledged in a commentary in JAMA Ophthalmology.
Today as we reflect on our 11-year journey peppered with several milestones including the remarkable on ground impact within the Diabetic Retinopathy space, we have our one eye on the future. We now seek to extend our solutions towards comprehensive screening for preventing blindness caused by other ocular diseases.
Remidio’s focus for next 5 years: Moving beyond Diabetic Retinopathy, Assessing your EHI: Eye Health Index
Remidio now aspires to become a global brand in comprehensive eye-screening. We seek to bring to market screening and monitoring technologies that make it convenient for a patient to test their Eye Health anywhere, anytime. Towards this, we have developed a comprehensive suite of portable devices that screen for Cataract, Retinal Diseases, Glaucoma and Refractive Error. These ‘simple to operate’ devices can be deployed in non-specialist contexts such as public health centers, primary care and in turn fuel Remidio’s intent of driving ‘ophthalmic mobility’ globally.
Concurrently, Remidio has invested in automation to co-develop with Visionix, Israel, another world’s first product — an all-in-one diagnostic device that can automatically generate 24 different non-invasive test reports of the eye in less than 90 seconds, in easy to access health kiosks. Such kiosks, we believe can help increase compliance towards annual eye exams, currently as low as 10% in LMIC’s and 48% in the US. Such kiosk models make it easy for diagnostic labs to offer annual eye checks besides enabling opportunistic screening in large footfall public spaces such as railway stations and malls.
We are also building pipeline products based on our new patents, that holds promise to extend monitoring technologies into the comfort of a patient’s home
Go measure your “Eye Health Index” is a key message we need to carry to raise awareness on the need to increase compliance towards annual eye exams.
How is Remidio gearing up to execute on this new focus?
Today after a decade, as we spread our wings wider to leap into newer horizons, the rebranding was inevitable to embrace the new journey ahead. Nevertheless, we hold on to our core vision of making eye care accessible through both simplicity and affordability. The liveliness of the new logo helps us continue to be young at heart. The bold letter-mark reminds us of our ability to take risks, be nimble and embrace change.
If one was asked, which living being best represents change? The answer at Remidio would be ‘the butterfly’. The butterfly is a unique living being that embodies extreme transformation. Each day of a butterfly resonates with change! When the butterfly undergoes a metamorphosis, it positively impacts, in an ever so subtle manner, all life around it. This epitomizes Remidio’s way of doing things; constantly learning, constantly improving and constantly impacting lives around us!
Our earnest hope is that this new identity does not live only with us but permeates to every stakeholder in the ecosystem — the health-worker, the optometrist, the technician, our global supply chain ecosystems, the ophthalmologist and most of all the patient in need and touches them in the most wholesome manner.
As we pave this new road, we take a moment to thank all our customers, business partners, current and past employees, and the entire ecosystem that continue to enrich our journey. We look forward to interacting with all of you in our new avatar!