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Local Start-up Licensing UNM Technology Forms Partnership with Software Company

Albuquerque, NM – March 11, 2015 VisionQuest Biomedical LLC, a local start-up licensing technology developed at the University of New Mexico, announced that it will be partnering with TreVia Digital Health of Kansas to make its imaging technology that screens diabetic patients for retinal disease available on mobile devices. VisionQuest Biomedical LLC was formed in 2007 and develops medical imaging technologies for clinical applications. The digital imaging technology, created by founder and CEO Peter Soliz and UNM researchers Professor Marios Pattichis and Assistant Research Professor Victor Murray from the School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, uses algorithms to process a digital image or video to extract information to use as a more accurate diagnostic tool in ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and retinal imaging. See Kevin Robinson-Avila’s March 7 article “ABQ biotech adds partner to speed eye exams,” from the Albuquerque Journal, reprinted below.

ABQ biotech adds partner to speed eye exams

VisionQuest Biomedical LLC, an Albuquerque startup using proprietary technology for rapid retinal screening of diabetics, is partnering with TreVia Digital Health of Kansas to provide images real time to doctors and clinics.

“TreVia has developed software specifically for ophthalmology that allows us to make all reports immediately available at our fingertips,” said VisionQuest founder and CEO Peter Soliz. “Doctors can now download images and read them on mobile devices like iPads or laptops.”

By partnering with TreVia, VisionQuest can streamline the triage process of screening out people with diabetes who have retinal complications from the people who don’t, greatly reducing the workload for doctors by allowing them to concentrate just on patients who need care.

TreVia President and COO Maureen Peszko said her company is working to improve patient outcome and reduce health care costs by partnering with companies like VisionQuest for early detection and treatment of eye disease.

“In an industry where communication and collaboration are often fragmented, we are reinventing diabetes care by providing higher quality preventive care and a convenient process for retinal screenings and care coordination across the care team and for the patient,” Peszko said.

VisionQuest has developed proprietary software that immediately determines if patients with diabetes have retinal disease. It’s using off-the-shelf imaging technology to screen at-risk populations, particularly in remote places where access to ophthalmologists is limited, Soliz said.

“Less than half of the 28 to 30 million diabetics in the U.S. are getting retinal screening, yet the American Diabetes Association recommends annual exams,” Soliz said. “We’re doing screenings throughout the Southwest and in some places in northern Mexico to triage out the people who don’t need to see an ophthalmologist. That reduces doctor workloads, because typically half the diabetic population doesn’t need to see a physician but they end up in an ophthalmologist’s office anyway because they need screening.”

Apart from its proprietary diagnostic software, VisionQuest has built a new, shoe-box-sized camera that, once approved by the Food and Drug Administration, will allow nurses or minimally-trained technicians to snap photos of a person’s retina for immediate access by doctors.

“We call it the ‘Doc in a Box,'” Soliz said. “It will allow us to replace the large, expensive cameras we use now.”

VisionQuest’s technology, created by Soliz and other researchers from the University of New Mexico, was built with about $10 million in federal Small Business Innovation Research grants. The company, which has about $2 million in annual revenue, has made the Flying 40 list of fast-growing technology companies three years in a row since 2012. It currently employs 12 people at a 2,500-square-foot facility at 2501 Yale Boulevard near the Albuquerque International Sunport.

Source: Albuquerque Journal

For more information, contact:

Denise Bissell