OAKLAND, N.J.—Topcon Healthcare Inc. (THI), a provider of medical devices and software solutions, has announced a partnership with Microsoft Corporation to deliver AI-powered "Healthcare from the Eye" solutions to improve health care access, cost and quality. Under the partnership, a cloud-based connected network of health care providers using Microsoft's Nuance Precision Imaging Network and the THI Harmony platform will empower patients and health care providers to participate in pre-screening for systemic and neurological disease via a robotic, rapid and non-invasive eye scan, the company said.

“We are committed to making health care accessible and affordable through pre-screening using oculomics—leveraging the eye for insights into systemic and neurological health," said Ali Tafreshi, CEO and president of Topcon Healthcare Inc. "We call this, Healthcare from the Eye. A key element of this effort is Harmony—a vendor-inclusive, secure, connected data management platform.”

Since establishing the Microsoft collaboration in February of 2024, THI has initiated several projects to drive the mission forward, according to the announcement. A collaboration with the University of California, San Diego, aims to show the value of AI-powered screening and coordinated care of diabetic patients across primary care, optometry and ophthalmology.  "Healthcare from the Eye is no longer just a concept, it is the future of health care,” said Robert N. Weinreb, MD, chair and distinguished professor of ophthalmology, University of California, San Diego.

To accelerate AI research and innovation for Healthcare from the Eye, THI established the Institute for Digital Health (IDHea), a large, secure population database platform that is governed by an external data access and governance (DAG) committee to ensure fair and ethical access to data. IDHea is engaged in multiple research studies with organizations including Visionworks, Keplr Vision and UC San Diego Health Shiley Eye Institute, integrating Microsoft Azure secure cloud storage and advanced computing technologies to ensure data security and protect proprietary algorithms.

A proof-of-concept study involving National Vision Inc., Toku Inc. and BeeKeeperAI demonstrates that Toku’s AI-powered BioAge algorithm can be securely deployed in a large-scale clinical setting using BeeKeeperAI’s confidential computing technology and end-to-end encryption, according to the company.

“Microsoft’s expertise in safe computing and AI provides a significant boost to our vendor-inclusive Harmony Network as a delivery environment for AI-powered decision support algorithms,” said Hideyuki Takizawa, Topcon Corporation, senior executive officer, and global managing director of the Eye Care Business division.

Additionally, the THI corporate venture capital fund is enabling Healthcare from the Eye by investing in science-based AI innovators. “We are providing these AI partners funding, business consulting, and the ideal delivery platform to help accelerate commercialization of their AI solutions for health care,” said Fumio Ohue, SVP of Topcon Corporation and chairman of THI.

“Microsoft’s health care and AI expertise adds a powerful dimension to Topcon Healthcare’s vision to empower providers with smart and efficient technologies for enhanced patient care,” said Peter Durlach, corporate vice president, chief strategy officer, Microsoft Health & Life Sciences. “With Microsoft Azure and the Precision Imaging Network, we provide the robust and secure cloud infrastructure essential for developing and deploying real-world applications at scale, integrated directly into provider workflows at the point of care.”