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Ophthalmic startup targets ASX listing to generate $10 million

04/04/2018By Matthew Woodley
TeleMedC, the Silicon Valley company that recently acquired the rights to Australian-developed diabetic retinopathy (DR) scanning technology, is hoping to raise $10 million via a float on the ASX within the next six months.

According to The West Australian, if successful, the funds will be used to shift manufacturing of the company’s EyeScan technology, developed by the CSIRO's Professor Yogi Kanagasingam when he was at the Lion's Eye Institute, from the US to Perth. Kanagasingam told Insight he was excited at the prospect of the machines becoming available in Australia, but so far the cost of expensive fundus cameras had slowed their rollout domestically.

“TeleMedC are struggling with funding the device. Fundus cameras are very expensive, around $26,000–30,000, so the company has found it difficult to expand further and put it into different clinics in metro areas,” Kanagasingam said.

“TeleMedC managed to get a partnership with a major health provider in Singapore to rollout there into GP clinics and also optometric clinics – especially the AI systems, as we can use already existing fundus cameras in the optometry clinics.”


“The company is planning to raise funds before the IPO, so if that goes well it will really make a big difference. The problem in Australia is that the population is spread out really widely so there are a lot of costs involved.”
Para Segaram, TeleMedC CEO

The EyeScan and its related software is unique, insofar as it is able to not only automatically screen at-risk patients for DR, but also provide a grading of the severity of the condition. Its effectiveness was tested on thousands of images, before being put to work at a GP clinic in Western Australia, where it was found to be as effective as specialists in both detecting signs of DR and measuring its severity.

The initial outlay required for fundus cameras is one of the reasons TeleMedC requires additional funding, while manufacturing the device locally with parts imported from China could also help to reduce costs.

“The company is planning to raise funds before the IPO, so if that goes well it will really make a big difference. The problem in Australia is that the population is spread out really widely so there are a lot of costs involved,” TeleMedC CEO Mr Para Segaram said.

“The company wants to combine the device and the software in such a way that the cost of the device could be minimised. It chose WA because all of the team who were part of the development are based here, and also WA is close to the Asian region – China, India Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and other places.”

Kanagasingam added another potential option would be to establish ‘partnerships’ with optometrists, however, he stressed this would need to be negotiated in such a way that all stakeholders were satisfied.

Image courtesy: Freepik | jannoon028



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