To commercialize Toku’s artificial intelligence platform that analyzes retinal images to detect cardiovascular disease and other potential health risks
DULUTH, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 17, 2023--
Toku Inc., a leader in applying AI-powered diagnostic and screening tools to retinal imaging, announced today the closing of its $8 million Series A Preferred financing round. The financing was co-led by National Vision, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYE), one of the largest optical retailers in the United States, and Topcon Healthcare, a leading provider of medical devices and software solutions for the global eye care community.
The investment round will help Toku accelerate the development of technologies that use artificial intelligence to analyze retinal images for biometric markers linked to overall health and risk of cardiovascular events, stroke, and diabetes. To maximize market access, Toku applies its technology to leading retinal cameras.
“We are proud to gain the support of two companies that play essential roles in vision care and optical technologies worldwide,” said Toku co-founder and CEO Dr. Ehsan Vaghefi. “Over 80% of cardiac events and diabetes related blindness could be prevented by identifying risk and applying targeted interventions. We are building a future in which more people have affordable access to this critical health data -- all from analyzing a retinal image.”
“Through AI-powered technology, Toku has found a way to identify potentially life-saving information quickly, accurately, and unobtrusively during a routine eye exam. We’re investing to help make that technology available to everyone who relies on us to help them see better, to live better, while also bridging the gap between eyecare providers and primary care,” said Priti Patel, O.D., National Vision’s Senior Vice President of Healthcare Strategy and Development. “This is an opportunity to help shape AI technologies that will prioritize better outcomes for patients and deepen the quality of care we’re able to provide.”
“Topcon is supporting technology for early detection of diseases of and through the eye,” said Akifumi Baba, President of Topcon Medical Systems. “Toku retinal image analysis technology will do just that by giving people access to potentially life-saving health insights while overcoming traditional access and affordability barriers that too often accompany new healthcare tools. We are excited to provide our data science expertise to Toku Inc. and to welcome them as our first Entrepreneur in Residence.”
About Toku Inc.
Toku Inc. is a cutting-edge technology company that specializes in developing non-invasive, AI-powered diagnostic and screening tools using retinal imaging to measure cardiovascular and other health risk factors. The company's flagship product, the BioAge Test, uses advanced imaging techniques to analyze various biometric markers in the body to accurately measure an individual's biological age. The test is highly accurate and can provide a detailed report on an individual's overall health and potential health risks, including cardiovascular disease and stroke. Toku is committed to making its technology widely accessible, and the BioAge Test will soon be available through its major partnerships across the world.
The company's technology is built on the latest research in artificial intelligence, and its team of experts includes leading scientists and medical professionals.
About National Vision Holdings, Inc.
National Vision Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYE) is the second largest optical retail company (by sales) in the United States with over 1,300 stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico. With a mission of helping people by making quality eye care and eyewear more affordable and accessible, the company operates five retail brands: America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Eyeglass World, Vision Centers inside select Walmart stores, and Vista Opticals inside select Fred Meyer stores and on select military bases, and several e-commerce websites, offering a variety of products and services for customers’ eye care needs. For more information, please visit www.nationalvision.com.
About Topcon Healthcare
Topcon Medical Systems is a US subsidiary of Topcon Healthcare, which is part of Topcon Corporation (TSE 7732). Topcon Healthcare sees eye health differently. Our vision is to empower providers with smart and efficient technologies for enhanced patient care. Keeping pace with the ever-changing landscape of the healthcare industry, we offer the latest integrated solutions including advanced multi-modal imaging, vendor-inclusive data management, safe distancing, and ground- breaking remote diagnostic technology.
Topcon Healthcare is investing in startup companies focused on healthcare innovation with emphasis on digital health and shared care. The Entrepreneur in Residence program allows startups with aligned technology to reside in Topcon Healthcare to help achieve their strategic and business goals.
A truly global business, Topcon is focused on developing solutions to solve societal challenges in the mega-domains of healthcare, agriculture, and infrastructure. In healthcare, these challenges include increasing eye disease, rising medical costs, access to healthcare and physician shortages. By investing in value-driven innovations, Topcon works to help people to enjoy good health and a high quality of life.
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Source: National Vision, Inc.