Toku is an AI platform that was built by Ehsan Vaghefi who says that most of his childhood friends were either blind or had blind parents. His own father lost his eyesight at the age of 4 due to congenital glaucoma and since then, he has focused on eradicating this problem from society.
Ehsan Vaghefi, CEO and co-founder of Toku says, “Early in life, I understood that if I became a clinician, I would be limited by the number of hours in my day, and [I] made it my mission to bring health to the masses through technology and innovation”. “I have worked every day of my adult life relentlessly to bring affordable and accessible disease screening to everyone, everywhere, so no child would grow up with a parent who is disabled or passed away.” TechCrunch reports that “Toku’s starting point is that there is a strong link between glaucoma and heart-related conditions, so examining a patient’s eye can give a clinician an idea of how that patient’s cardiovascular system is working. Its main product is a non-invasive, AI-powered retina scan and technology platform it calls CLAiR, which can detect cardiovascular risks and related diseases such as stroke and type 2 diabetes”.
The report mentions that Toku’s approach is groundbreaking and adds that “CLAiR uses AI to “read” tiny signals from the blood vessels captured in the retinal images, and Toku claims that it can calculate heart disease risk, hypertension or high cholesterol in 20 seconds. And because the platform integrates with existing retinal imaging cameras, the diagnostics it measures can feasibly become a part of any routine eye exam”. Toku’s CEO says “Every product that obtains its final FDA approval through the breakthrough designation program has the opportunity to receive an automatic current procedural terminology (CPT) reimbursement code immediately after the final approval,”
Toku’s CEO also identifies privacy concerns for many and mentions that “We do not use patient information for research or AI training unless explicitly immediately”. “The patient can request for their data to be deleted at any time, and it will be actioned immediately. We comply with data sovereignty in every jurisdiction, using local servers and infrastructure.”