BROSSARD, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Oct. 10, 2013) - DIAGNOS Inc. ("DIAGNOS" or "the Corporation") (TSX VENTURE:ADK), a leader in natural resource and healthcare technical services including, screening, software and algorithm development, data analysis and image processing, is pleased to announce new impressive results for the early automatic detection for people affected by age-related macular degeneration.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a painless irreversible destruction of the macula (the central area of the eye's retina), which leads to gradual loss of the sharp, fine-detail, "straight ahead" vision required for activities like reading, driving, recognizing faces, and seeing the world in color. Macular degeneration can be very serious and is the second-highest cause of irreversible blindness in the world. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults (greater than 50 years). AMD usually affects both eyes, but the speed at which it progresses can vary from eye to eye.
"Automatic, fast and robust screening of this widespread disease will result in early detection and early treatment. Our method achieved an impressive recognition rate of 93.3%, with a specificity of 95.5% and a sensitivity of 91.3%. This low cost approach shows results that are in agreement with medical experts as well as robustness to both image quality and fundus camera model. We are very proud having achieved these results and look forward including the new algorithms to the existing CARA platform as an add-on to be applied on the current images taken for CARA for early detection of the Diabetic Retinopathy. This will open a new market and revenue stream to DIAGNOS", stated Houssem Ben Tahar, Diagnos' Vice- President - Development and Business Intelligence.
If detected early, AMD can be treated with either bevacizumab (Avastin by Genentech/Roche) or ranibizumab (Lucentis by Genentech in the USA and by Novartis elsewhere) which are injected into the vitreous humor of the eye at various intervals. Early detection and treatment can slow the progress of the disease.
Macular degeneration is a costly and debilitating condition, which will only become more expensive as the population aged 65 and older increases. Estimates of the global cost of visual impairment due to AMD is US$343 billion, including US$255 billion in direct health care costs. Estimates of the direct health care costs of visual impairment due to AMD in the US, Canada, and Cuba (World Health Organization sub region AMR-A), collectively, is approximately US$98 billion. Direct medical costs of AMD are substantially higher among the population aged 65 years and older than in the population aged 40 to 64 years.
Macular degeneration is widespread because of the impending epidemic of "ageing" in the Western world. Age is a prominent risk factor for AMD. According to the latest predictions released by the United Nations, the number of people aged over 60 will triple from 606 million worldwide in 2000 to nearly 2 billion by 2050. The increase in the population aged over 80 is expected to be more than fivefold, from 69 million in 2000 to 379 million by 2050. People aged over 60 constitute about 20% of the population in more developed regions of the world; by 2050 they will probably account for 33% according to the United Nations. The number of people living with macular degeneration today is similar to that of those who have all types of cancer . A large study found that people in middle age have about a 2% risk of getting AMD, but this risk increased to nearly 30% in those over age 75. Medicare beneficiaries who had AMD in the USA increased from 5% to 27.1% from 1991 to 1999.
CARA is a tele-ophthalmology platform that integrates with ophthalmic imaging equipment (hardware and software) and processes at the point of care (POC) and comprises: image upload, image enhancement automated pre -screening, grading by a specialist, and referral to a specialist. CARA's image enhancement algorithms make standard retinal images shar per, clearer, and easier to read. CARA is accessible securely over the internet, and is compatible with all recognized image formats and brands of fundus cameras, and is EMR compatible. CARA is a cost-effective tool for screening large numbers of patients, in real-time and has been approved by regulatory authorities including Health Canada, US Food and Drug Administration, and the European Union. CARA is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent diabetic retinopathy or any other disease.
Founded in 1998, DIAGNOS is a publicly traded Canadian corporation with a mission to commercialize technologies combining contextual imaging and traditional data mining thereby improving decision making processes. DIAGNOS offers products, services, and solutions to clients in a variety of fields including healthcare and natural resources.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For further information on DIAGNOS, please visit our website at www.diagnos.com or the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com.
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Louis MorinBid Capital Markets
Source: DIAGNOS Inc.