Nikon to help fight diabetes-related eye diseases with optical engineering expertise

Nikon has announced it's teaming up with Verily, the company previously known as Google Life Sciences, to help improve the detection of diabetes-related eye diseases — diabetic retinopathy and macular edema, two of the leading causes of adult blindness. The camera giant will contribute its imaging technology to Verily's machine learning, with a goal of increasing early detection, giving patients enough time to get to a doctor before losing all eyesight.

As it was just revealed, exact details on the partnership are minimal, but Nikon says it will be making use of its optical engineering expertise, proprietary ultra-widefield technology, and its connection with the eyecare industry. Together with Verily they hope to come up with solutions to improve the screening process for the diseases and provide physicians and specialists with tools that allow for easier diagnosis.

Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema are diseases that, if caught early enough, can be treated to drastically reduce the risk of permanent vision loss. However, they often don't present symptoms in the early stages, and can quickly progress to the point where they cause irreversible damage.

Verily first made its split from Google a year ago, and since then has been heavily involved in projects related to diabetes, including another partnership announced in September that sees the company working with a pharmaceutical company in France to improve treatment.