The medical startup CheckEye© is implementing diabetic retinopathy screening in the Zakarpattia region using artificial intelligence. It will assist endocrinologists and family doctors in detecting diabetic retinopathy at early stages.

Through the collaboration between the Ukrainian medical IT startup CheckEye and the private medical center “Zakarpattia Endoclinic,” a fundus camera has been installed at the center, and preliminary appointments for screening are available starting from June 19th. Following that, a mass screening program for diabetic patients will commence.

People referred for screening by their family doctors will have early signs of diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes complication that is a leading cause of vision loss in working-age individuals, identified. To conduct the screening, it is necessary to take a photo of the patient’s fundus using a standard ophthalmological device, such as a fundus camera. The images are then transmitted to the cloud and analyzed by artificial intelligence.

The result is ready within 30 seconds and determines whether the patient requires a consultation with an ophthalmologist for immediate or planned treatment. Thus, the CheckEye cloud service will “sieve” individuals, identifying those who need specialized medical assistance. This saves the time of qualified ophthalmologists, providing a quick and accurate preliminary analysis of the patient’s condition. The development of diabetic retinopathy correlates with other severe diabetes complications, so endocrinologists will also conduct in-depth examinations of all patients with positive screening results.

Kyrylo Goncharuk, a board member of the Ukrainian Diabetes Federation and the leader and founder of CheckEye, stated, “Today, AI allows us to take a significant step toward preventive medicine by detecting early signs of diseases and increasing the coverage of screening programs. AI will also provide robust support to physicians. We thank the healthcare leaders in Zakarpattia for their openness to using new technologies to protect citizens’ health.”

Olga Oleksyk, the head of the Endocrinology Department at the Zakarpattia Endoclinic named after A. Novak, the regional endocrinologist-expert of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service, a candidate of medical sciences, and the general director and leading specialist of the private medical center “Zakarpattia Endoclinic,” mentioned, “We aim to develop modern screening formats in Zakarpattia to preserve the health of patients with diabetes. It is known that wartime factors contribute to the manifestation of type 2 diabetes, hinder disease control and decompensation, and lead to the emergence of severe complications. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common complications of diabetes, often leading to complete vision loss. With the implementation of screening, patients with diabetic retinopathy will be able to learn about their condition in a timely manner, receive appropriate treatment, and avoid premature blindness.”

In the first three months of the project, the plan is to screen several thousand patients. According to statistical data, up to 30% of them may learn about the presence of diabetic retinopathy for the first time and promptly seek medical attention.