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Oculo acquired by Finnish ophthalmic device company

Australian-owned teleophthalmology and clinical communication platform Oculo will change hands in the coming months following an announcement this week that Finnish ophthalmic diagnostics company Revenio has purchased the platform.

In a stock exchange media release on 19 March, Revenio Group Corporation said Oculo is valued at AU$18.5 million and is an integral part of its strategy to strengthen its expertise in clinical eyecare software solutions.

Kate Taylor.

Co-founded by Professor Jonathan Crowston and Dr Kate Taylor in conjunction with the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA), the Oculo platform shares clinical imaging, referrals, and other clinical correspondence securely and instantly between healthcare professionals.​

Since launching in 2015, it has grown a user base of more than seven out of 10 eyecare providers in Australia and New Zealand and has managed more than one million patients. Oculo is also the technology partner for KeepSight, the Australian Government’s first-ever national diabetes eyecare program.

Taylor said the new partnership with Revenio recognises that the team behind Oculo have built a teleophthalmology and clinical communication solution that is needed by eyecare professionals around the world.

“We started with a vision to transform clinical eyecare and collaboration. We are delighted that Revenio shares this vision and are looking to expand it globally,” she said.

She said it had been an “enormous journey” since she and Crowston, the former managing director at CERA, had their first discussion.

“Eyecare is so reliant on imaging and functional assessment of the eye,” Crowston said. “More than almost any other speciality, eyecare needs to digitise care. The era of teleophthalmology is clearly upon us. Both through Oculo and looking to the potential impact of home monitoring, I’ve seen how better tools and data can translate to better patient care,” Crowston said.

Jonathan Crowston.

Taylor acknowledged the industry support in getting Oculo off the ground more than five years ago. Today, the platform has more than 3,300 optometrists and 800 ophthalmologist users in Australia.

“We couldn’t have started without our first customers – Dr Michael Coote, who was the first ophthalmologist to sign on, Specsavers who was our first optometry customer, as well as OPSM and Bupa who collaborated on our initial beta-testing,” Taylor said.

“I know that we are extremely grateful to the Oculo team for their dedication and their passion for better patient care. Having the opportunity to work with great partners like Glaucoma Australia, Diabetes Australia, the Macular Disease Foundation Australia and Optometry Australia is a great privilege that we look forward to continuing and growing in Australia.”

According to Revenio – which supplies ophthalmic devices under the iCare brand – Oculo’s net sales in 2020 were approximately AU$1.6 million (excluding grant income) and the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was approximately -AU$1.4 million. The sellers are several Australian investors and the company’s shareholding employees.

With the acquisition expected to be completed in the beginning of the second quarter of 2021, Revenio CEO Mr Jouni Toijala said software-related solutions are significantly enhancing patient eyecare pathways and the processes of eyecare professionals.

“There are tremendous opportunities in improving the productivity and quality of eyecare, and we see improving the continuum of care through secure communications and teleophthalmology with Oculo as a key,” he said.

“The acquisition of Oculo marks Revenio’s strategic direction and commitment to connecting clinical care pathways and enhancing the quality of clinical information. We see the opportunity of putting the high-quality data that comes from [Revenio’s] Icare’s range of fundus imaging devices, perimeters and tonometers to even greater use,” Toijala said.

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