Heidelberg Engineering becomes member of Glaucoma/Myopia OCT Phenotyping Consortium

The GMOPC was established in February 2020 at an inaugural meeting in Los Angeles, California, as an investigator-initiated clinical research study, with Heidelberg Engineering as an industry partner.

Heidelberg Engineering is serving as a member of the Glaucoma/Myopia OCT Phenotyping Consortium (GMOPC), in an effort to support research to improve the detection of glaucoma, the world´s leading cause of irreversible vision loss.

The GMOPC was established in February 2020 at an inaugural meeting in Los Angeles, California, as an investigator-initiated clinical research study, with Heidelberg Engineering as an industry partner, the company said in a news release.

According to Heidelberg, the consortium comprises 13 clinical centres in 7 countries and provides a new research platform for acquiring OCT images, data storage and retrieval for efficient review, quality control and secure access.

Looking beyond established risk factors for glaucoma such as age, family history and intraocular pressure, GMOPC investigators have established five goals to gain scientific insights intended to ultimately help clinicians detect glaucoma earlier and improve patient care:

  • Characterize OCT structure normality in healthy eyes
  • Improve OCT detection of non-highly myopic early structural glaucoma
  • Understand myopic structural abnormality and myopic structural glaucoma
  • Build a foundation for secure data sharing to support machine learning on an international scale
  • Establish a platform for future international research initiatives

In the news release, the company noted that in pursuit of these goals, clinical investigators will collate three powerful new data sets: one consisting of highly myopic patients without glaucoma, the second of highly myopic patients with glaucoma, and a third of non-highly myopic patients with early glaucoma. The protocols have been designed to address a series of unanswered questions in the detection of glaucoma and myopic structural abnormality.

We believe the consortium will fill the unmet need to structurally phenotype glaucoma and myopia, separately and as comorbidities using OCT,” Dr Claude F. Burgoyne, principal investigator for the GMOPC, Senior Scientist and Van Buskirk Chair for Ophthalmic Research Director, Optic Nerve Head Research Laboratory at Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon, said in a statement. “We see this as an opportunity to foster collaboration among leading researchers, develop and share rich data sets for use in deep learning and standardize the structural definitions for glaucoma.”

Since its inception in 1990, Heidelberg Engineering has been dedicated to continuous optimization of imaging and healthcare IT to empower clinicians at the point of care. The company hopes to further its pursuit of continuous scientific advancement via ever more ambitious collaboration with researchers in the spirit of its co-founder, the late Dr Gerhard Zinser.

Charles Reisman, GMOPC executive director and scientific director for Heidelberg Engineering, is enthusiastic about the long-term potential.

“This is the largest research project Heidelberg Engineering has ever supported,” Reisman said in a statement. “In addition to supporting the science, we are excited about the development of a scalable imaging and data management solution to foster scientific exchange, as well as to further improve the performance of the SPECTRALIS imaging platform in highly myopic patients. Our primary objective is the advancement of scientific knowledge, while accelerating the introduction of clinically-relevant, innovative solutions to improve patient care.”

Heidelberg Engineering is supporting the mission of the GMOPC with a suite of hardware and software: ANTERION for capturing anterior chamber and biometry data, a next-generation SPECTRALIS for posterior segment imaging, HEYEX EMR with new functionality configured specifically for clinical trials, and HEYEX PACS, a platform for image management and third-party device integration, to facilitate secure data sharing within the global research community.

GMOPC data collection is set to begin in the first half of 2022.