In a recent interview with PharmaShots, Edouard Gasser, CEO of Tilak Healthcare shared his views on OdySight, which is the first medical game to monitor eyesight for patients with chronic eye diseases.
- OdySight is a free mobile game and medical-grade application used to remotely monitor patients suffering from chronic maculopathies such as AMD, macular edema, and diabetic retinopathy
- The app uses gamification to test patients’ visual acuity, sharing results with doctors and patients simultaneously and in real-time
- The app was first released in France last year in partnership with Novartis, and the two companies have just expanded this partnership for broader distribution in Europe and the US
Tuba: Can you put light on Tilak’s first app, OdySight? How does it work?
Edouard: OdySight is a free mobile game and medical-grade application, used to remotely monitor patients suffering from chronic maculopathies such as AMD, macular edema, and diabetic retinopathy.
Designed by a joint team of medical experts and video game professionals, OdySight features two medical modules for ophthalmologic testing: A Visual Acuity Module and an Amsler Grid Module, both of which have been validated through clinical trials. Plus, it has fun and engaging puzzles to stimulate visual and cognitive functions.
OdySight is a medical device available by prescription from an ophthalmologist, designed to help improve monitoring of eye diseases and their evolution.
In each session, the patient begins by completing a monocular vision test, evaluating his or her visual acuity or making use of the Amsler grid. Completing these tests unlocks credits, which patients can use to access the app’s gaming platform. Our puzzles are original, fun, and increase in difficulty. As a result, patients are better motivated to visit the app regularly and engage in frequent testing.
A secure dashboard gives physicians access to their patients’ test results in real time, allowing them to monitor relevant visual parameters between consultations.
If the app detects a reduction in visual acuity between two tests, a pre-alert is generated, instructing the patient to re-do the test the following day. If the second test confirms the results, an alert is sent to both the clinician’s dashboard and to the patient, who is encouraged to schedule a visit with them as soon as possible. The patient, therefore, benefits from greater autonomy: he or she performs daily tests and, in the event of an alert, is invited to schedule an appointment. Otherwise, the patient continues with their recommended treatment until the next scheduled consultation.
Tuba: Can we have insight into real-world data analysis of OdySight?
Edouard: OdySight has been prescribed by 346 doctors in France to 2,530 patients. 52.3% of OdySight patients take at least 1 test a week, and the average number of tests per user in 2020 was 57.
OdySight has been most commonly prescribed to patients with a diagnosis of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD); they account for 36% of all patient downloads. Those with wet AMD are also the most active players on the app.
Age based distribution among OdySight users reveals that the most frequent users are between 70 and 80 years old.
Retention is a key component to the success of mobile technology. When the patient becomes bored or fatigued by a mobile application or game, they will likely stop being engaged and rarely restart using it. The mobile applications with the best retention on the market are Instagram (70%) and WhatsApp (62%). OdySight has average retention of 53% for three months. Players have much better retention than non-players: 72% vs 34% at three months. Remarkably, patients in the age group, 80+ years have a three-month retention rate of 53% (55% for the age group 65-80 years).
Tuba: Which disease the OdySight targets? Are you planning to expand it in other indications?
Edouard: The mobile app, designed to be compatible with both PRN and T&E strategies, is especially suitable for patients who require regular vision testing, i.e., those suffering from AMD, neovascularization, and macular edema.
Tuba: What are your plans regarding the launch of OdySight in the US, EU, Japan, and India?
Edouard: For now, we are in the US and Europe as we already have market clearance. Asia is scheduled for 2022.
Those markets will require specific product/game adaptations since the video game culture is very different as compared to in Europe or the US.
Tuba: As you collaborated with Novartis to launch the app in France, so are you looking for more collaboration to launch in other geographies?
Edouard: Yes absolutely. Partnering with a company like Novartis is a unique opportunity for us to leverage their experience and reach out to more patients and doctors at the same time.
It also allows us to get a better understanding of each market’s specificities and helps us convince more doctors to use and prescribe our app by relying on their salesforce to distribute the product.
Our know how and their expertise complement each other, and are key to the successful distribution of a prescribed medical application. Our deep knowledge of mobile gamified medical application development (from development to data analysis) combined with their strong understanding of the medical industry and pharmaceutical sales cycle makes our product stand out when launched in a new country or region.
Tuba: Are you looking for funding opportunities?
Edouard: Yes, we are currently raising our Series B to expand our reach internationally, but also to diversify our product portfolio to become a world leader in digital ophthalmology through OdySight and a series of derivative products.
Our idea is to be able to answer more unmet medical needs through our gamified approach in ophthalmology in all markets.
Tuba: Do you feel competition in this space? If yes, who are they, and how Tilak’s gaming app is different from them?
Edouard: Yes, there is. And it is actually good that there is competition in the space.
In ophthalmology, products like MyVisionTrack and AllEye are also marketing remote monitoring application for chronic eye diseases of aging.
I believe we are different for 3 main reasons:
- Our Technology: We have developed a unique patent-filed distance to screen technology and environment brightness control that ensures the reproducibility of our tests. Our visual acuity test is the most reliable VA test on mobile.
- Our Gamified approach: We have unique retention mechanics with the game, allowing us to engage and retain users over a long period of time. This is a key element to have a longstanding impact on patient healthcare.
- Our Accessibility: Our game is compatible with a wide variety of devices on Android and iOS, smartphones and tablets (3,000+ devices compatible). This allows us to have a unique reach and to target a large portion of all populations.
Tuba: When can we expect Tilak’s second gaming app? What is its status, which indications you are planning to target?
Edouard: In our current development cycle, we are focused on ophthalmology with two derivative products of OdySight:
- One helping measure vision remotely during clinical trials
- One helping measure vision in retirement homes
We also started an R&D phase to go beyond ophthalmology because we believe that medical gaming could help many other chronic conditions.
But, it is too early to say exactly.
Tuba: What do you think about how telemedicine and gamification can help in the management of chronic conditions?
Edouard:I think telemedicine and gamification will play a huge part in tomorrow’s healthcare.
Telemedicine is a natural step to help solve one the biggest issues current healthcare systems are facing: due to lack of resources (financial and human) and an increasing number of patients, it has become even harder to be able to properly treat patients. Telemedicine helps analyze, individualize, and customize patient’s healthcare, while they are away from their doctor’s office. It won’t replace doctors; it will augment their capacities to monitor and treat patients.
We know today that gaming is more than pure entertainment, it has become a consumption means and it is a tremendous tool to engage audiences. I believe that by leveraging gaming, we can foster better compliance to regular treatments while improving the overall experience of patients, by making them enjoy taking care of their health.
The combination of both is a tremendous opportunity for tomorrow’s healthcare: you play, we care.
Tuba: Tilak is forging a new path for e-health with video games. Comment over the statement.
Edouard: We are not the only ones, but we sure are doing things differently. Gaming is our passion; Healing our mission.
We hope we will change healthcare system, one game at a time.
Main Image Source: Challenges
Edouard Gasser is CEO at Tilak Healthcare. Before heading the Madrid Creation Studio, He successively worked at Gameloft as Project Manager in Paris. He was also a writer for TechCrunch France, covering mobile apps, 2.0 web and entertainment topics.