OHSU Startup Company GoCheck aims to improve early diagnosis of ophthalmic diseases

David Huang, M.D., Ph.D.
David Huang, M.D., Ph.D. is the cofounder of GoCheck and the Martha and Eddie Peterson Professor of Ophthalmology.

Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) startup company, GoCheck, has a clear mission to protect kids from preventable vision impairment and blindness. Based on foundational technology from OHSU faculty member David Huang, M.D., Ph.D., the company’s product, GoCheck Kids, utilizes a phone-based screening platform to provide instant and affordable early eye screening.   

Early screening for vision impairment is critical, as persistent problems with vision can lead to compromised learning and may be indicative of more serious conditions that can cause blindness and even death. Early detection increases the likelihood of effective treatment; however, less than 15% of all preschool children receive an eye exam, and less than 22% of preschool children receive some type of vision screening1. By using iPhone technology, GoCheck Kids achieves a 60% reduction in the cost of early screening, which could ultimately improve accessibility to early vision diagnosis and care.  

GoCheck is already having a positive impact on patients. Recently, they shared the story of one family where the utilization of GoCheck Kids’ screening tool at a routine pediatric check-up led to the eventual diagnosis of retinoblastoma.  "Retinoblastoma screening with the smartphone was a vision of the late Dr. Linn Murphree, who co-founded GoCheck with me in 2011,” said Huang. “I am happy to know that GoCheck Kids has screened millions of young children and caught several cases of this potentially fatal eye cancer. The latest documented case involved saving a child’s life.  In the below video, the patient’s family speaks about how pivotal GoCheck Kids’ technology was for the early detection, diagnosis, and hopeful prognosis of their child AJ. 

GoCheck Kids is also “helping thousands of kids with improved visual and learning outcomes by catching amblyopia and refractive errors early. We are looking to further empower pediatricians with smartphone-based tests to detect a wider range of diseases in ophthalmology and beyond" said Huang.  

“The research is clear, so much in a child’s life is transformed when they can see well — their confidence, relationships, learning and eventual educational and financial outcomes,” said Kevon Saber, GoCheck’s CEO. “As an OHSU startup company, we had the special opportunity to develop Dr. Huang's technology and scale it to reach millions of children worldwide. We are striving for a future where everyone everywhere can see and fulfill their potential and children, parents, and providers are no longer in the dark." 

Founded in 2011, GoCheck has raised $26 million dollars to date, including $10 million dollars in late 2021. GoCheck reports that 6,500 pediatric teams on three continents have used GoCheck Kids to screen more than 5 million patients. Learn more at www.gocheckkids.com

1 https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/risk/age.htm