Optos has unveiled a £10 million collaboration with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the universities of Kent and Strathclyd to develop a new imaging technology that could allow earlier detection of sight-threatening eye disease.
An initial £1.1 million study, funded by the government’s Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) and Optos, will develop a laser based technology to monitor the function of the cells in the eye.  The first clinical trials will focus on the leading causes of blindness – age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy – and are expected to be completed in the first half of 2017. 

If successful, a further £9 million will be invested “to develop a fully licensed medical device for the NHS by 2018”, Optos said. Chief executive Roy Davis said the initiative “demonstrates not only the importance of early intervention, but how innovation and investment through collaboration can translate into better patient outcomes”.

Stuart Parks, lead for the NHS consortium, said: “It is critical that the NHS works closely with partners, both in the development of new technology and in the evaluation of its effectiveness”. He added that “this research marks the start of a new collaborative framework to deliver solutions for the NHS”.