Gobiquity picks up Series B to advance smartphone amblyopia screening app

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Gobiquity, which markets a smartphone vision screening app, reeled in $6 million in a first close of its Series B round. The funds will drive the company’s commercial growth, with a main focus on product development and global expansion.

The GoCheck Kids app is available to healthcare professionals for the early detection of conditions that can lead to amblyopia in children. Also called "lazy eye," amblyopia is the loss of vision in one eye, usually caused by the brain favoring the use of the other eye. It can lead to permanent vision loss. Catching the precursor conditions to amblyopia--such as strabismus, myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness)--is key as treatment efficacy starts to diminish at age 5, according to Gobiquity.

GoCheck Kids uses a smartphone camera and flash to analyze a child’s “red” reflex in one photo. The flash causes a reflection in the eye, which sometimes includes a crescent. The size and orientation of this crescent can help pediatricians determine what kind of refractive error the child has in his or her eye(s).

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The app launched on iOS last year and has since been used to screen more than 100,000 children. It is currently averaging more than 3,000 screenings per week, Gobiquity said in the statement. One of its goals is to make the tool available on platforms beyond iOS, CEO Andrew Burns told FierceMedicalDevices.

The main priority for this financing round is broadening the audience that has access to this tool, CEO Andrew Burns told FierceMedicalDevices. GoCheck Kids is currently available only in the U.S., and Gobiquity wants to bring the test to a broader group of health professionals and caregivers in the U.S. and overseas, Burns said. The company is working to address a treatment gap where people are simply not getting tested and treated for amblyopia and the conditions that cause it.

The second priority for the funding is additional R&D to expand the clinical applications of the tool, Burns said. The company initially targeted children aged one to 6 before including children up to age 10. In the long term, it wants to address conditions affecting adults, especially older adults.

- here's the statement

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