The project "Seeing a Colorful World" was launched in 2013. Currently, the 2nd edition of "Seeing the Colorful World 2" is being implemented in partnership with business (CheckEye), scientific institutions (V.P. Komisarenko Institute of Endocrinology and V.P. Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy) and NGOs (Ukrainian Diabetіс Federation). Thanks to the innovative approach and the addition of Artificial Intelligence, the program is gaining new opportunities and is urgently needed by people with diabetes right now, when the most difficult problems in the diabetes care system have arisen. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), approximately 537 million adults (20-79 years old) are living with diabetes worldwide, up from 108 million in 1980. Over the past decade, the prevalence of diabetes has increased faster in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. Atlas: Diabetes in Ukraine (https://diabetesatlas.com.ua/) writes that almost 2.3 million people in Ukraine have diabetes. This statistic will worsen as a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as stress is one of the main causes of diabetes. According to the latest research by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, 25% of veterans registered with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) have diabetes. In addition, as more and more people become internally displaced due to the ongoing military aggression, they lose contact with their general practitioner, which means a delay in diabetes diagnosis and, as a result, a delay in eye exams. On average, one in three people with diabetes develops some form of diabetic retinopathy (DR), which will lead to impaired vision or, in the worst case, blindness. According to the World Health Organization (3, WHO), DR is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the working age group! The importance of periodic eye examinations is reflected in their inclusion as a quality indicator in national health plans. Nevertheless, studies have repeatedly shown that patients with diabetes do not undergo examinations and treatment on time. An analysis of self-reports from the civilian, non-institutionalized population of Ukraine showed that less than 70% of diabetics and only 40% of high-risk patients (those with pre-existing retinopathy or long-standing diabetes) have undergone an extended eye examination. CheckEye is a Ukrainian cloud-based solution for early diagnosis of diseases developed by Ukrainian IT specialists in partnership with the Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy. Given the above statistics and the significant social impact, DR was chosen to create the MVP, with the prospect of other endocrine phthalmopathies.
The risk of vision loss due to DR can be reduced, especially when the lesion is detected at an early stage, when vision is still good and there are no disturbing visual symptoms.Traditionally, the evaluation of fundus photographs from a fundus camera by an ophthalmologist in diabetic clinics is being replaced by a new technology using AI, which does not require additional costs for the patient and the healthcare system. This increases the cost-effectiveness many times over and eliminates the possibility of errors. Diabetic retinopathy screening has been proven to be cost-effective. Several studies on the cost of screening have led to the creation of general recommendations for screening. Therefore, DR represents an excellent paradigm for screening of any disease. The Ukrainian Diabetes Federation considers the introduction of innovative technologies into the modern system of diabetes care to be a priority and is confident that under the leadership of Kirill Goncharuk this area will make a significant contribution to the development of the future of post-war Ukraine.