Dr Meera Radia, Founder and CEO of DigitalHealth.London Launchpad company, PocketEye, shares her experiences as an NHS ophthalmologist and how this led to the creation of the cloud-based platform. She also provides an update on the company’s journey to date, and their plans for the future.
How did PocketEye come about?
As an NHS ophthalmologist, I have dealt with the struggles of working in eye casualty, noticing that communication and referral pathways between primary and secondary eye care are fractured. Furthermore, studies had shown that up to approximately 35% of emergency or same-day referrals to secondary eye care were deemed unnecessary, causing extra burden on patients with increased waiting times, and also on clinical and administrative staff. Thus, PocketEye was born. A cloud-based platform enabling secure communication and digital remote triaging between primary and secondary eye care.
What features does PocketEye have?
PocketEye enables primary care practitioners (optometrists and GPs) to refer eye patients to ophthalmologists, seek advice, and facilitate remote triaging of emergency eye care, strengthening the conversation around patient care between community and hospital. Referrers can make use of the eye-specific clinical documentation needed for referrals and are also able to upload images safely. Once referrals are sent, this can kickstart a conversation with the doctor about the clinical case, enabling remote triaging.
How do you envisage PocketEye being used in the future?
We envisage PocketEye being deployed by hospital eye units, especially when it comes to emergency eye care, as a useful and meaningful digital triaging tool. We also envisage it being useful for the large number of community optometrists and GPs who are keen to feel more supported with clinical patient care.
What are you most proud of with PocketEye so far?
I am proud to say that our team is dedicated to improving eye care for the future. In terms of traction, we have seen interest from 200+ optometrists, and five hospital eye units who are keen to pilot our product. Furthermore, PocketEye will help manage patient care remotely and avoid long hospital waits for patients – something we hope will really make a difference.
What has been the biggest challenge since starting PocketEye?
For me personally, I have found managing my time challenging, especially when juggling PocketEye with clinical work as an ophthalmologist. Starting a business from scratch makes juggling inevitable – and it extends to so many aspects of your life.
Carving out an innovative product that does not yet exist in the market is also challenging – especially when it comes to changing the behaviour of potential users and guiding strategic business processes.
What are you most excited about for PocketEye’s future?
We are building a process that is hoping to solve a conceptually simple but important problem; How can we strengthen communications between primary and secondary eye care, thus improving patient safety, experience, and reducing burden on secondary eye care services? Whilst we have a long journey ahead of us, we are at an exciting stage of pilot testing this solution and getting a sense from our market of how we can refine it.
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PocketEye is part of the DigitalHealth.London Launchpad which is part of the Accelerator programme.
The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is a collaborative programme funded by two of London’s Academic Health Science Networks – UCL Partners and the Health Innovation Network, MedCity, CW+ and receives match funding from the European Regional Development Fund.