Top Ten Advances in Chinese Ophthalmology, with SVision Leading the High-end Ophthalmic Equipment

Ophthalmic racetrack is becoming a favorite in the capital market.

According to the VBData statistics, since 2021, more than 40 ophthalmic enterprises have received financing, with a total amount of more than 8billion yuan, a record high. 90% of them are concentrated in the field of ophthalmic medical equipments. Many investors said that with the policy boost and technological innovation in recent years, upstream investment opportunities for ophthalmology have emerged, good technology and products have become the focus.

Recently, at the 7th Annual Meeting of Physicians (2022) and the 2nd Physician Professional Development Forum, the 2021 “Top Ten Advances in Chinese Ophthalmology”, which symbolizes the indicators of Ophthalmology technology, was officially released. Among them, true Angiography OCTA which was first made in China and independently developed by SVision was selected as the top one of the “Top Ten New Diagnosis and Treatment Equipment and Popular Science Works”. It also attracted the attention of the ophthalmology industry. The newspaper for China’s physicians specially reported: “SVision’s ultra-widefield true Angiography OCTA has surpassed the imported products in performance.It represents a breakthrough in ophthalmic OCT technology.

“The most commonly used OCT technology in ophthalmology in China has achieved curve overtaking, and has surpassed the international equipment in many fields.” Professor Ningli Wang, chairman of ophthalmologist branch of China Medical Doctor Association and Beijing Tongren Hospital, said when publishing the list.

As the leader of high-end ophthalmic equipment in China, SVision was evaluated by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People´s Republic of China in 2021: The equipment has fully reached the international advanced level. The progressiveness of the equipment has also been affirmed by many Chinese top eye center experts and top international competitive chief experts. Svision has participated in the formulation of Chinese standards and international standards. In this year, SVision was also selected into the 8th excellent domestic medical equipment list in 2022. The excellent performance has attracted the attention of investment institutions: SVision completed two rounds of financing last year, with a total financing amount of hundreds of millions of yuan. It is noteworthy that the investors include AIER medical, a leading enterprise in the field of ophthalmic services, which means that in addition to the capital support, it also contributes to the strategic synergy of industrial resources.

According to Dr. Li Bing, CEO of SVision, the true Angiography OCTA have been sold on a large scale. In 2021, the average bid-winning price of the product (the bid-winning price listed publicly by public hospitals) exceeded that of high-end imported products, stood out in the competition many times and won the recognition of clinical experts. With this product alone, SVision has been self-financing for three consecutive quarters. Despite the negative impact of the COVID-19, its sales performance is still growing against the trend and is gradually achieving stable profitability.

At present, more than 400 ophthalmic units in China have used the equipment. In more than 80% of the top 30 ophthalmic centers, the equipment has become the main equipment for clinical and scientific research, with more than 60 officially installed, of which more than 20 are high-end head hospitals, which has opened up a new scene in the field of domestic high-end ophthalmic equipment. At the same time, 38 SCI scientific research papers published in international journals were jointly produced by SVision and Chinese head Hospital experts.

Since it was highly recognized by Chinese head hospitals, experts and other users, and valued by the industry.What are the advantages of the SVision’s product behind the 2021 “Top Ten Advances in Chinese Ophthalmology”? Why can SVision lead the development of high-end ophthalmic equipment in China? Next, VBData.CN will be analyzed.

Reverse the situation of import monopoly, and SVision is favored by the industry.

At present, ophthalmic instruments are developing rapidly, with a compound annual growth rate of 22.7%. It is the fastest growing sector in the ophthalmic industry chain, and has broad opportunities. However, we should be aware that the challenges in the field of ophthalmic instruments are also huge for two reasons.

  • First, the medium and high-end ophthalmology market is mainly controlled by foreign developed countries, and there are opportunities for import substitution. According to incomplete statistics, according to the sales amount, the market share of imported ophthalmic equipment suppliers reached 98%. In terms of sales volume, the proportion reached 95%.
  • Second, there are still ultra-high technical barriers at the supply side of ophthalmic instruments. According to the industry source, R & D and manufacturing in this field are typically “easy to get started, difficult to master” and “low-end low threshold, high-end high threshold”. The huge technological divide has drawn a wide moat for high-end imported suppliers, and domestic ophthalmic equipment suppliers have been difficult to improve in this situation.

Now, the innovative enterprises represented by SVision are reversing this situation: as the leader in the deep cultivation of high-end ophthalmic equipment in China, the first swept source OCT product of SVision obtained the registration certificate in 2019, thus creating a precedent for domestic high-end ophthalmic equipment to surpass imported products. Then, with the “hard core” advantage of integrating software and hardware, SVision’s products are still in continuous R&D and technical iteration.

What are the breakthrough highlights of the SVision OCT?

Take the newly upgraded SVision “Ruyi whole eye OCT”, the world’s first full eye OCT product is equipped with Ruyi frequency scanning engine, which successfully integrates different functions such as anterior and posterior segment structure OCT and anterior and posterior segment vascular OCT into one equipment, so as to optimize the diagnosis and treatment process, improve work efficiency and patient satisfaction. At the same time, the results of the whole eye examination are integrated to facilitate the management of clinical and scientific research data, thus opening a new era of the whole eye OCT. It is an epoch-making ophthalmic diagnostic product.

In terms of product parameters, the maximum scanning speed of SVision OCT products can reach 400,000 A-Scans/s, the single scanning range of ultra-widefield posterior segment OCT/OCTA can reach 26 mm, the automatic seamless puzzle can exceed 200 ° (intraocular angle), and the maximum scanning depth can reach 12 mm in the posterior segment and 16.2 mm in the anterior segment. The traditional frequency domain, OCT scanning range is generally only 8-12 mm, and the scanning depth is 2-3mm. Compared with similar products at home and abroad, its core parameters have been improved by 3-5 times, and it has comprehensively surpassed in terms of scanning speed, penetration, imaging depth, imaging range and Angiography algorithm.

With excellent performance, SVision continues to gain favor in the industry: in addition to reaching the top of the 2021 “Top Ten Advances in Chinese Ophthalmology”, it has also attracted many top hospitals and experts to participate in cooperation.

So far, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Eye&ENT Hospital of Fudan University, Eye Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Department of Ophthalmology, Research Institute of Henan Province, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, etc. have jointly published 38 SCI papers with SVision, many of which are top papers with an impact factor of 5-11 points. In addition, Dr. Xianzhao Peng, the founder of SVision, and Professor Youxin Chen of Peking Union Medical College, jointly published the first domestic OCT based ophthalmopathy atlas in China – “Atlas of swept source optical coherence tomography and Angiography imaging”.

As an academic weapon of Ophthalmology, the advanced functions of SVision OCT products, such as choroidal vascular quantification, ultra-widefield Angiography imaging, artificial intelligence accurate segmentation, can provide high-quality images for various complex diseases, provide reliable basis for clinical research, and effectively promote the new progress of ophthalmic academic research.

It is important to mention that more than 60 sets of SVision OCT equipment have been installed, including more than 20 national and regional leading eye centers. The application area in China is expanding rapidly, including the Eye&ENT Hospital of Fudan University, Eye Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Tongji Hospital affiliated to Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science & Technology and other well-known ophthalmic units in China have been highly praised by the public and well-known in the industry. In addition, many leading hospitals in China, such as Eye Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, have continued to repurchase, which is the greatest affirmation of the performance and quality of SVision OCT products.

To become the leader of high-end ophthalmic equipment, how to build the technical barrier of SVision?

In the field of high-end ophthalmic equipment, why can SVision make excellent products?

Behind this, it is related to the strategic choice and determination of SVision: since its inception, SVision has been committed to building the Tesla in the field of Ophthalmology. This goal needs two major elements to support, one is the excellent hardware, and the other is the powerful AI algorithm.

  • From the perspective of hardware, SVision has a world-class R & D team: the three founders are doctors studying in the United States, and the team members have more than 10 years of experience in Silicon Valley engineering, semiconductor optics and high-end medical equipment development. Led by the founding team of Silicon Valley, SVision has also attracted top-notch R & D talents from many famous universities at home and abroad by virtue of its inherent high-tech product R & D advantages. At present, the core R & D teams of SVision are from international renowned universities, covering fields such as precision optics, electronics, precision machinery, medical image processing, algorithms, etc. The collocation of the whole team is conducive to the integration of cutting-edge optical design, image algorithm, artificial intelligence, cloud platform and other cutting-edge technologies.
  • From the aspect of AI algorithm, the advanced AI algorithm of SVision image has won the affirmation of international competition. In mid January of this year, the SVision’s Imaging algorithm team was selected from tens of thousands of teams and won the third and tenth best results in the 2021 Asia Pacific Ophthalmology Society Big Data Competition on the Tianchi platform for more than three months. It was among the top ten finalists together with the top AI groups of renowned universities, which not only showed its strong AI technical strength, but also the world-leading AI algorithms used in the competition will drive the update and iteration of the products to better serve the global users.

It is understood that the SVision OCT products are equipped with artificial intelligence and incorporate a large number of AI based advanced algorithms, including AI based retinal 3D recognition algorithm, anterior segment 3D recognition algorithm, choroid and choroidal vascular 3D recognition algorithm, and subretinal fluid 3D recognition algorithm. AI enables the SVision OCT products to be more intelligent, accurate, and clear.

It is worth mentioning that on the road of technological innovation, SVision still keeps on going. At present, SVision is stepping up the independent R&D of advanced technologies such as biometrics and femtosecond laser.

As the gold standard of ocular axis measurement, optical biometrics are widely used in cataract surgery and prevention and control of juvenile myopia. Compared with traditional optical biometrics, swept source optical biometrics have a higher detection rate, which is setting off a wave of equipment updates. It is reported that the swept source optical biometric of SVision has the world’s leading signal-to-noise ratio and detection rate, and it is expected to complete the certification in 2022.

Femtosecond laser can achieve micron level cutting precision.It is widely used in high-end surgery fields, such as myopia and cataract. It has a very high technology and product threshold. Depending on the world-class R & D team and the semiconductor optical R & D experience of nanometer precision, SVision will build a world-class femtosecond laser surgery equipment. The product has completed the initial design of system and optical.

To sum up, with the advanced hardware created by the R & D team and the leading AI algorithm, SVision is moving towards the goal of “Ophthalmic Tesla”.

With the acceleration of commercialization, China’s high-end ophthalmic equipment is about to sprint in a golden period of development.

China’s high-end ophthalmic equipment is about to usher in a golden period of development.

From the policy perspective, China has continuously promoted the development of the ophthalmology industry. In January this year, for example, the National Health Commission of People’s Republic of China issued the national eye health plan for the “14th five-year-plan” (2021-2025). The plan points out that it is necessary to establish and improve the National-regional-provincial-city-county five-level ophthalmic medical service system and optimize the layout of medical resources. We will strengthen the setup and construction of ophthalmology in general hospitals at or above the second level, and complement the weakness of Ophthalmology and its supporting disciplines. This means that the industry will pay more attention to and purchase ophthalmic related instruments, and import substitution will benefit from this, and the commercialization process will be accelerated.

In the face of a broad market, SVision takes the ophthalmic diagnostic product OCT as the starting point. Based on advanced AI algorithm, high-performance computing, precision optical imaging and other core technologies, the team is developing diagnostic artificial intelligence products that far exceed the fundus color photo recognition performance, including the full ophthalmic product lines such as ultra-widefield fundus camera and microscope OCT, to provide ophthalmologists with powerful diagnosis and treatment tools, These forward-looking layouts undoubtedly broaden the imagination of the future market of SVision.

In addition to the high-end market position, SVision also launched OCT products of model S, focusing on the sinking market of products which are less than one million yuan. It is reported that under the premise of maintaining the quality of scanned laser OCT images, this series of products has significantly reduced the cost, and obtained the certification in April this year. The core of this series of products covers level III and level II public hospitals, as well as private hospitals and physical examination institutions. This is consistent with Tesla’s approach, that is, starting from the high-end market, gradually sinking to occupy the parity market, and achieving descending strikes.

On the other hand, with its outstanding innovation ability, the high-end ophthalmic equipment export is also a major trend of commercialization. To this end, SVision is also actively laying out its overseas market, basing itself on domestic and international markets, and providing advanced high-end ophthalmic equipment for global users.

SVision continues to expand its overseas elite talent team, further upgrades its Silicon Valley R & D center to an American R & D operation center, and plans to set up a new European R & D operation center in Germany. SVision OCT products have passed the US FDA and EU CE type inspections.

Next, with the escalation of consumption and the intensification of population aging, the demand in the ophthalmology field with both medical and consumer attributes will be more vigorous. It is believed that with the continuous breakthrough of domestic high-end ophthalmic equipment enterprises led by SVision, it is only a matter of time before domestic high-end ophthalmic examination equipment is fully imported and replaced.