RAIR will use advanced data science to extract insights from RCH's real-world data to help ophthalmologists diagnose diseases earlier, make personalised clinical decisions, develop treatments for patients and free-up more staff time for direct patient care.
Ophthalmic data from RCH will also provide clues about the incidence of systemic and chronic disorders, providing opportunities to use their data for non-ophthalmic applications.
The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is the main provider of acute and specialist care services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly across three main sites.
RCH has a busy ophthalmology department with over 53,000 appointments in the last year. As a teaching hospital for the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) and University of Exeter Medical School, the Trust has a growing reputation for research and innovation.
Ashish Patwardhan, consultant ophthalmologist and clinical lead at RCH, said: “We are thrilled to join a growing list of Trusts who have contributed data to this exciting AI research venture. The county covers sparsely populated areas where access to care services can be an issue for patients. Patients across our geography are therefore likely to be principal beneficiaries of the sort of innovations that RAIR seeks to enable."
Steve Cox, CEO of RAIR Health, added: "Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust has embraced data-led innovation and we are delighted to be working with them. Nearly a quarter of people living on the South West peninsula are aged 65 or over with a long life expectancy. This agreement therefore provides particular opportunities for us to work with RCH around innovation in a unique later life population, many with challenging health issues."
Under the terms of the agreement, RCH has received an equity stake in RAIR and a right to royalties on products or services which result from the insights derived from RCH data.