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Eye on Innovation - The Series, is made possible through the generosity and vision of William L. Hutton, MD and The Mason Brown Family Foundation
Eye on Innovation, The Series highlights advances in ocular disease treatment with the help of artificial intelligence and gaming
DALLAS (November 22, 2022) – The Dallas-based Retina Foundation of the Southwest hosted the second Eye on Innovation, The Series, “Artificial intelligence, Gaming and the Future of Medicine” discussion this past Wednesday at the Dallas Country Club, highlighting their collaboration with Southern Methodist University (SMU) and BALANCED Media | Technology (BMT) in “Artificial Intelligence, Gaming and the Future of Medicine.” Moderating the discussion was Communities Foundation of Texas’ Senior Vice President and Chief Giving and Community Impact Officer, Monica Christopher.
The panel featured the Retina Foundation’s Chief Executive and Medical Officer, Karl Csaky, MD, PhD, BMT Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Robert Atkins and Chief Technology Officer, Corey Clark, who is also an assistant professor of computer science at SMU.
These leading experts designed a gaming system, Eye in the Sky: Defender, that uses retinal scans to diagnose and track patient treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A complex disease with no known cure, AMD is the most common cause of vision loss for individuals 50 years and older in the United States. It is estimated that AMD currently affects 11 million Americans. As our population ages, the disease is expected to double its impact on those over 50 by 2050.
The purpose is to utilize the already massive gaming industry to treat a variety of ocular diseases in the future. By accelerating this process, costs are minimized for both medical staff and patients.
When Christopher asked the panelists why gamers would be the ideal candidates to be the first to target, Dr. Clark responded, “There are an estimated three billion gamers world-wide and by engaging this group, doctors and scientists can collect data to provide standardized and accurate identification of ocular diseases.” Patients are then able to receive solutions to their diagnosis in a shorter time.
Atkins then spoke to how we can scale this technique to other areas of medicine and have a reliable and efficient way to provide care to patients in need.
“Combining our expertise and creating this video game is just the beginning to finding solutions in medicine,” says Dr. Csaky.
Earlier that evening at a private reception, the Retina Foundation presented the Hunt family with the Hunt Family Visionary Award sponsored by Toyota North America for their continual support of the organization’s mission to save sight.
“Philanthropy is an invaluable solution, because it is an opportunity for those in the medical field to push the envelope and do something different, making an impact through innovation,” said Dr. Csaky.
Evelyn Pulliam of Toyota Financial Services, and trustee of the Retina Foundation’s Board of Directors, closed the event saying, “It’s evenings like this that confirm my commitment to the work of the Retina Foundation. Our patients play an active role as our research and co-located, allowing for real-time validation of our research hypotheses.”
ROBERT M. ATKINS
CEO & Co-Founder, BALANCED Media I Technology
During his 23-year career, Atkins has launched five interactive entertainment companies. He has been highly involved in product design, creative direction, company management, brand building and marketing for some of the industry's highest acclaimed franchises. He also founded Gaming for Good, a nonprofit dedicated to drawing awareness to charitable opportunities for gamers through gaming content. Atkins serves as an adjunct professor at SMU Guildhall in Dallas, teaching Game Design, Professional Development, Focused Study and Industry Ethics.
COREY CLARK, PhD
Deputy Director of Research, Southern Methodist University (SMU) Guildhall
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, SMU
Chief Technology Officer, BALANCED Media I Technology
Dr. Clark's work in reverse engineering gene regulatory networks, chemotherapeutic comedication property discovery for multidrug resistant cancers, and chemical gene discovery for antibiotic resistance prevention led to his appointment as Adjunct Research Associate Professor of Biological Sciences. As CTO of BALANCED, Dr. Clark leads the development of HEWMEN®, a crowd computing platform that combines human perception and unstructured problem-solving skills with raw computational power by utilizing volunteer grid computing integrated into interactive entertainment.
KARL CSAKY, MD, PhD
Chief Executive & Medical Officer Retina Foundation of the Southwest
T. Boone Pickens Director, Molecular Ophthalmology Laboratory Director, Clinical Center of Innovation for AMD
Fulbright scholar and vitreoretinal specialist Dr. Csaky is the award recipient of the T. Boone Pickens Senior Scientist. Dr. Csaky offers a unique and thorough perspective as the leader of the Retina Foundation. His main area of research is age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in both laboratory and clinical settings. His lab is studying the pathogenesis of all forms of AMD, and he has an accomplished history of conducting clinical trials for AMD research. Dr. Csaky serves as a scientific advisor to large pharmaceutical companies and shares his research and treatment innovations with ophthalmologists around the world.
Senior Vice President
Chief Giving and Community Impact Officer
Communities Foundation of Texas
In her role at Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), Christopher oversees the teams responsible for grantmaking, cultivating and stewarding donor relationships, and the implementation of North Texas Giving Day. Previously, Christopher led the CFT's transformational grantmaking investments from the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation in the areas of education, public safety, and medical research. Prior to joining CFT in 2008, Christopher served as Senior Director of Community Services for The Dallas Morning News and WFM-TV.
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