Prevention and early detection of chronic non-communicable diseases is one of the greatest challenges facing current health systems worldwide due to the significant social and economic impact caused by their associated complications. Ulma was clear about this a decade ago, and her commitment to R&D has allowed her to fully enter the health sector, a long-term field of work, aligned with social and health transformation.
It has developed an artificial intelligence solution capable of preventing cases of blindness through early detection of a disease that affects diabetics called diabetic retinopathy. The new disease screening test and business section was recently launched at the Guggenheim and includes references in the country’s health and scientific fields.
“We work with the conviction that technological innovation can and should be used to improve people’s lives. “That is why, after launching this first project in the field of ophthalmology, we are already working on solutions for glaucoma and macular degeneration and developing solutions in other medical specialties such as Skin diseases and heart diseases,” explained Ulma Medical Technologies CEO Josetxo de Frutos.
Ulma has received a patent for an artificial intelligence solution that detects diabetic retinopathy and can prevent blindness
Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy have become a growing health problem. Worldwide, it is estimated that one in ten adults currently lives with diabetes, i.e. more than 500 million people, and the number is expected to rise to nearly 800 million in 2045, according to the previous study conducted by Olma.
The number of people affected in Spain currently exceeds five million. In turn, diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, affecting 1 in 3 affected people, and one of them may lose vision.
Health care programs
The solution offered by Ulma consists of an AI-based health screening software, which, thanks to an algorithm created from hundreds of thousands of data obtained from fundus photographs, is able to independently detect diabetic retinopathy even in its initial stages, providing Automatic screening, rapid and effective diagnosis that allows early treatment of the disease.
This ability to detect early is important to prevent vision damage, to the point that 80% of diabetic retinopathy cases can be avoided with early treatment.
Ulma has already started marketing its solution to prestigious entities in the public and private sectors in the national and international market. The software has European certification for medical devices, so it can be marketed in Europe and other parts of the world.
They stressed at the launch ceremony that “we were able to bring together a group of professionals and prestigious institutions such as the technological center specializing in artificial intelligence Vicomtech, in addition to obtaining financial support from the European Union worth 1.5 million euros for the project.” Enhancing Olma’s diagnostic innovations using artificial intelligence in the service of health.
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