Revolutionising diabetic retinopathy prevention and treatment


Current treatments for diabetic retinopathy – sight loss in patients with diabetes – can be invasive and expensive. Sight loss is a frequent occurrence for ageing patients with diabetes, a cohort of patients that is growing fast.

PolyPhotonix is an SME joint venture with CPi (Centre for Process Innovation), and new to working with the NHS. It has developed a sleep mask for the prevention and treatment of diabetic retinopathy. The mask is a non-invasive, monitored therapy for use in the patient's home. It aims to improve patients' quality of life, slow sight deterioration and be delivered at a price below the current treatment cost. It has the potential to offer better care at lower cost.

There is both market need for a better solution and supplier need for expertise to accelerate R&D, evaluation and adoption. Our members are supporting PolyPhotonix's Phase III multi-centre trial through principal investigators based at Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Further development funding from the Technology Strategy Board's Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI Health Care Initiative) and support from KSS AHSN has helped PolyPhotonix learn from early engagement with clinicians and gain a better understanding of the NHS marketplace.

The company is now pursuing its route to market, building its evidence to demonstrate value for money and affordability as well as clinical efficacy. To support this, the AHSN convened a meeting of healthcare commissioners and providers in North West Surrey to explore collaboration with PolyPhotonix and agree how best to collect value for money evidence ahead of a submission to NICE's MTEP programme to secure a 'case for adoption' endorsement.

Going forward in to 2014/15, KSS AHSN will be working more closely with South West Peninsula and Wessex AHSNs to create the market conditions for PolyPhotonix to fulfil its wealth creation and health improvement potential.

We hope the impressive level of KSS AHSN support and pace of progress can continue into the new care pathway pilots, through NICE appraisal, and beyond into NHS adoption.

Martin Holland, Operations Director, PolyPhotonix