IRIS is on a mission to end preventable blindness.
The leading cause of blindness in the U.S. is diabetic retinopathy and 4.5 million people suffer from some stage of this disease. Early detection and treatment, which is done through dilated eye exams, can reduce this risk by 95%. The problem is, while most of the more than 29 million Americans with diabetes regularly visit their primary-care provider to manage their illness, only about half receive annual eye exams, allowing irreversible eye damage to go undetected for years.
Enter IRIS. Founded in 2011 by nationally-recognized retina surgeon, Sunil Gupta, M.D., Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS), had the goal of saving sight for millions of these people. Accomplishing this would require the development and deployment of screening services that would enhance preventative care.
The result? Since 2011 the IRIS team has developed a breakthrough cloud-based platform and image-enhanced technology that connects primary-care physicians with optometrists and ophthalmologists who can read eye exam images taken during a normal doctor visit. This simplified workflow makes it easier for doctors to administer tests and have them analyzed. And this leads to reduced blindness around the world.
The IRIS team, led by CEO Jason Crawford and described as one of the most capable healthcare IT think-tanks in the United States, has reached an important milestone: 100,000 patients have used their technology to receive retinal exams (Jan. ‘17).
The Move to Co:Lab.
IRIS had been in existence for fourteen months before moving to Co:Lab. “We were sharing space with Dr. Sunil Gupta, but it was time to create our own environment,” explained IRIS CEO Jason Crawford.
“We were looking for a cost-efficient space that would allow us to grow and expand rapidly and affordably. Once we found Co:Lab it took me less than two hours to decide to apply. It was an easy decision and one that took the stress and time out of negotiating leases with another property.”
Additional benefits include a great conference room that allows IRIS to host guests and their board of directors, opportunities to network and interact with other entrepreneurs, and the proximity to the business community of downtown Pensacola.
“Having access to a business coach and mentor has also been very helpful,” Jason said. “And just being able to walk down the hall and ask questions of other Co:Lab companies is invaluable. This has been a great place for collaboration.”
A forward-seeing company with clinical partnerships with some of the most recognized leaders in healthcare, annual growth over 300%, and customers now in 26 states, the future for IRIS and its Pensacola employees looks great.