The Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) of Taiwan is assisting a Taiwanese smart healthcare company Leosys to develop AI-assisted ophthalmology patrol services for the elderly and diabetic patients living in rural areas. According to Taiwan Diabetes Yearbook 2019 published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of Taiwan, the aging population, and changes in lifestyles and dietary patterns led to the increase in the number of diabetic patients to over 2.3 million in 2019 with the prevalence rate of over 11%. Diabetic patients have a higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, and regular checkups are required every year to reduce the risk of blindness and the prevalence rate of diabetic retinopathy is about 26.5%. However, nearly half of Taiwan’s rural areas lack ophthalmology clinics. For example, among 29 administrative districts of New Taipei City, northern Taiwan, as many as 13 districts do not have ophthalmology clinics.
For this reason, Leosys has developed an innovative eye examination kit with portable equipment for fundus photography and diagnostic assistance system. In cooperation with optometrists, the company is able to connect patients in the rural areas with remote doctors by providing optometry services and transmit fundus photography images for diagnosis to improve the mobility and convenience of eye examinations in rural areas.