, effective screening of diabetic retinopathy with Artificial Intelligence

Leuven, August 3 2021 - By the end of this year, an innovative, easy and low-cost approach to screening for eye diseases - such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma - will be available to every European ophthalmologist., a spin-off of Flemish research and technology institute VITO and KU Leuven, has gained the confidence of Belgian investors to make this technique - which goes by the name of MONA and uses artificial intelligence (AI) - ready for commercialisation. is part of Start it @KBC, the biggest startup accelerator in Belgium.

"Screening for eye diseases is now usually done by an ophthalmologist using different techniques and pupil dilating eye drops, which is uncomfortable for the patient. Screening for diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma is time-consuming and labour-intensive," said Olivier Ménage, CEO of
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MONA provides standardised, accurate results using a 'simple' retinal camera without pupil dilatation. MONA's accuracy is 92.5 % for referable diabetic retinopathy and 94 % for macular oedema. The examination time is reduced to less than 4 minutes and the results are available to ophthalmologists a blink later. Studies have shown that the accuracy of the results is as high as that of the best trained ophthalmologist. The procedure is currently being evaluated in four Belgian hospitals with the E Clair clinical trial supported by the Diabetes League.

Currently, one in two patients with glaucoma goes undiagnosed. These patients are at risk of going blind. The financial cost and time it currently takes to screen for glaucoma are among the reasons for this. MONA's AI for glaucoma screening (patent pending) will transform clinical practice. Glaucoma screening will take only a few minutes, will be less inconvenient for the patient and will be considerably less expensive. This will lower the threshold for the patient and allow the ophthalmologist to spend more time on treatment and follow-up.

MONA will be provided as software (as a service solution) or as software with a retinal camera (as an all-in solution). This solution for the screening of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema with artificial intelligence is CE-certified and will be available to ophthalmologists in Europe by the end of this year. has closed a €1.5 million Seed financing round with leading strategic Belgian investors to recruit additional software developers and commercial staff, implement several large-scale pilot projects for diabetic retinopathy screening, and finalize regulatory approval for glaucoma screening. CEO Olivier Ménage is an industry veteran, having previously held senior management positions at Fortune 500 Medical Device companies.

Press contact

Olivier Ménage
CEO & Co-Founder
+32 470 912 972




About Start it @KBC

Start it @KBC is Belgium's largest accelerator and supports and promotes entrepreneurs with an innovative idea and scalable business model. The international Start it @KBC community consists of a network of more than 830 startups and scale-ups that share their experiences and expertise.

Start it @KBC was founded in 2014. The accelerator is founder-centric and offers their program completely free of charge. Start it @KBC does not take shares in the startups and only imposes one condition: the joint pursuit of maximum economic and social impact, diversity and sustainability.

The Belgian hubs of Start it @KBC are located in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Hasselt, Kortrijk and Leuven. In addition, Start it @KBC has international offices in Budapest, Gyor and Prague and pied-à-terres in New York, San Francisco and London. Since 2017, Start it @KBC is a member of the exclusive Global Accelerator Network (GAN), which offers the startups additional expansion and sales opportunities abroad, as well as a wealth of benefits from technology partners worldwide.

Start it @KBC has strategic partnerships with large companies to better support startups. Today, strategic partners of Start it @KBC are Accenture and KBC. Since 2019, Start it X also immerses intrapreneurs of corporate companies in the Start it @KBC network.  

Startups who want to participate in the one-year Start it @KBC acceleration program and wish to make free use of mentoring, network, workshops and co-working spaces, can apply throughout the year via the website:

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