The investment will add Apple’s AI capabilities and accelerate further EHR integration
NASHVILLE, TN (Apr. 25, 2019) – GoCheck, creator of GoCheck Kids, an iPhone app used by over 4,500 pediatricians that screen for vision impairment in pre-verbal children, announced its Series B investment with healthcare investment veteran FCA Venture Partners leading the round.
GoCheck was co-founded by David Huang, co-inventor of OCT, the most widely used diagnostic in ophthalmology, and #1 inventor in the world according to The Ophthalmologist. GoCheck will leverage the $6 million to add artificial intelligence capabilities with Apple’s CoreML and ARKit, and additional electronic health record (EHR) integrations to fight the $23 billion lost annually in the U.S. to amblyopia, the leading cause of vision loss in U.S. children.
According to the CDC, vision impairment is the most prevalent disabling condition in the United States. GoCheck Kids is the first iPhone app registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to screen the one in four children under six years old that have a correctable vision impairment, including amblyopia. Amblyopia, the leading cause of vision loss in children, and most vision disorders are correctable if discovered through early detection. GoCheck Kids makes early screening affordable, reducing the cost by over 60 percent with its bi-directional EHR integrations, and by leveraging the iPhone’s manufacturing scale.
“Many childhood eye diseases, including amblyopia, myopia (near-sighted), hyperopia (far-sighted), and even retinoblastoma (rare but fatal childhood cancer) are not readily apparent or easily diagnosed by health care professionals,” said David Huang, MD, Ph.D., co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of GoCheck. “Instrument-based vision screening has proven effective in identifying vision issues in children, however, it is cost-prohibitive for most pediatricians. We are changing this dynamic by bringing pediatric vision screening into the digital age.”
Until GoCheck Kids, the only way for pediatricians and hospitals to screen pre-verbal children was to purchase expensive, antiquated hardware devices that can cost more than $20,000 to operate over several years because of repairs and warranties while lacking EHR integration. As a result, many hospitals and pediatricians choose to rely on eye charts that are not reliable for young children, causing a gap in care during a vital period of time when prevention is possible.
“Amblyopia and other vision disorders are a U.S. public health crisis that doesn’t get enough press. With its innovative solution and a growing number of hospital system customers, GoCheck is primed to solve this crisis,” said Matthew A. King, managing partner of FCA Venture Partners, which led the investment round.
GoCheck Kids is easy and convenient to use. A nurse or technician takes a picture of the child’s eyes with an iPhone, and proprietary algorithms analyze the result, providing immediate information on the status of the child’s vision. This process provides the pediatrician with the information necessary to determine if the child should see an eye care professional for a full exam. The procedure, known as photoscreening, is reimbursed by most insurers and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
“Every child deserves to see what they’re capable of,” said Kevon Saber, CEO of GoCheck. “We’re thrilled to partner with investors who want to protect the learning potential of children and lower healthcare costs via advanced technology.”
“I am most excited about closing the loop through health systems’ EHR integrations,” said David Huang. “By connecting the pediatrician and pediatric ophthalmologist, and using AI techniques and tools such as Apple’s ARKit and CoreML, we can increase clinical efficacy and help more kids flourish. ”
FCA Venture Partners, Mucker Capital, and Sovereign’s Capital join previous backers and accomplished healthcare investors, Interwest Partners (90 IPOs) and Marc Benioff (Salesforce founder/CEO).
GoCheck, creator of GoCheck Kids, serves over 4,500 pediatric teams in the U.S. and Europe in their quest to prevent vision impairment, the most prevalent disabling condition among children in the U.S. and many countries. Vision diseases usually lead to compromised learning, blindness, and even death. GoCheck Kids made early screening affordable, reducing the cost by over 60% by leveraging the iPhone’s manufacturing scale. It’s also FDA-registered and CE certified.
Andrew Young, PR & Events Manager