News/ Press Release

Transforming the Future Of Medicine: Retina Foundation Showcases Collaboration with Southern Methodist University and Balanced Media | Technology

November 28, 2022

Eye on Innovation, The Series highlights advances in ocular disease treatment with the help of artificial intelligence and gaming

Rf November Press Release

From right to left: Communities Foundation of Texas, Monica Christopher; BALANCED Media |Technology, Robert Atkins; Retina Foundation, Karl Csaky, MD, PhD; BALANCED Media |Technology and Southern Methodist University, Corey Clark, PhD

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.

Ellen Farrell

Host Ellen Farrell, Group Vice President, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, Toyota Financial Services welcomed moderator Monica Christopher onstage.

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.

Karl Csaky

Karl Csaky, MD, PhD, Chief Executive and Medical Officer, Retina Foundation

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.

Libby Allred Hunt Amy Johnson Evelyn Pulliam

From left to right: Libby Allred Hunt; Amy Johnson, Chief Development Officer of the Retina Foundation; Evelyn Pulliam, Assistant General Counsel of Toyota Financial Services and Retina Foundation board member

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.

Alex Winslow, Clark Hunt And Scott Murray

From right to left: Alex Winslow, Clark Hunt and Scott Murray

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.”

Transforming the Future Of Medicine: Retina Foundation Showcases Collaboration with Southern Methodist University and Balanced Media | Technology

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